Corn crop production, consumption forecast higher

LONDON, U.K. (Reuters) — The International Grains Council has raised its forecast for the 2014-15 world corn crop by two million tonnes, reflecting an increase in China’s crop.

However, it also raised its consumption forecast, resulting in only a one million tonne increase in year-end carryover stock estimates.

Global corn production was ex-pected to total 982 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 980 million and just shy of the previous season’s record 984 million tonnes.

“The bulk of the 2014-15 northern hemisphere (corn) crop is now harvested and, with better than average yields in many countries, the world production forecast is increased,” the IGC said in a monthly report.

The corn crop in China was pegged at 216 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 213.8 million but still just below the previous season’s 218.5 million.

The increase was partially offset by a downward revision for Argentina, where a corn crop of 22.5 million tonnes is now expected. That is down from a previous estimate of 23 million and the previous season’s 24 million tonnes.

“Seeding in South America has so far progressed at a slower than average pace,” the IGC said.

“While output in Brazil and Argentina is expected to decline, much will depend on the final planting decisions and weather during the coming months.”

The global corn consumption forecasts for 2014-15 were increased by two million tonnes to 963 million tonnes.

“World demand is forecast to in-crease to record highs, driven by a three percent gain in feed consumption,” the IGC said.

It also cut its forecast for the 2014-15 global wheat crop by one million tonnes to 717 million, which is still a record and up from the previous season’s 713 million.

The downward revision was driven by a sharp cut to Algeria’s crop, which was pegged at just 1.9 million tonnes compared to a previous forecast of three million tonnes and the previous season’s 3.3 million.

Algeria’s grain harvest this year was hit by drought.

The IGC also projected that wheat area for the 2015-16 crop would rise by one percent, year-on-year.

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