GLOBAL – The International Grain Council (IGC) has issued its latest Grain Market Report, revealing a downward revision in global maize (corn) production, primarily driven by worsening prospects in the Southern Hemisphere. 

This adjustment has subsequently impacted the overall production outlook for total grains.

Released on March 14, the monthly report indicates a reduction of 6 million tonnes in the production of wheat and coarse grains for the 2023-24 period. 

Despite this setback, the forecasted production of 2.304 million tonnes represents a 2% increase compared to the previous year, attributed to rises in global maize and sorghum output.

Maize production, however, witnessed a significant decrease of 7 million tonnes from the February projection. Nonetheless, it is expected to grow by nearly 6% year-on-year, reaching 1.227 billion tonnes. Looking ahead to the 2024-25 marketing year, the IGC anticipates a further uptick in maize output to 1.233 billion tonnes.

In contrast, the production forecast for wheat remained unchanged at 789 million tonnes compared to the previous month but marked a nearly 2% decrease from the previous year. Projections for the 2024-25 period suggest a slight increase, reaching 799 million tonnes.

Total grains consumption for 2023-24 underwent a downward revision of 11 million tonnes, mainly due to a 10-million-tonne drop in maize uptake. Nevertheless, global consumption for both maize and wheat is expected to see significant increases compared to the previous year. Combined consumption of these grains is forecasted to rise by 25 million tonnes in 2024-25.

With consumption consistently on the rise, total grains carryover stocks are expected to plummet to an eight-season low of 599 million tonnes in 2023-24.

The report also highlights a record rise in global soybean production, reaching 390 million tonnes in the current year, with expectations of further significant growth to 413 million tonnes in 2024-25. Despite this, soybean consumption is projected to increase at a similar rate over the same period.

Reflecting on market dynamics, the IGC’s Grains and Oilseeds Price Index (GOI) remained largely unchanged from the February report. However, prices have fallen by 21% compared to the previous year, with maize experiencing a particularly notable decline of nearly 32%.

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