ENGLAND- The International Grains Council (IGC) is projecting a 2 million tonnes decrease in its world grain production forecast for the 2023-24 marketing year to 2.29 billion tonnes, which it said reflected recent dry weather.

In its monthly Grain Market Report, released June 29, the IGC said that it expects this year’s (2023-24) corn production to decline by nearly 6% to 1.156 billion tonnes. 

Nevertheless, the consumption estimate was cut by 6 million tonnes to 1.2 billion tonnes by the London-based grain council.

Meanwhile, the IGC sees 2022-23 wheat output rising to 803 million tonnes, an increase of 23 million tonnes over 2021-22.

Moreover, the IGC raised the wheat production projection for 2023-24 by 3 million tonnes from the previous report to 786 million tonnes, a 17 million tonnes decrease from the previous year. 

Wheat consumption forecasts, however,  were increased by 8 million tonnes from the last forecast to 803 million tonnes.

However, the IGC noted that although total grain consumption is projected to fall by 29 million tonnes, carryover stocks are expected to decline to a nine-year low at 592 million tonnes.

The wheat trade projection was set at 197 million tonnes, up 3 million tonnes from the May report but still down 6 million tonnes from last year.

On the other hand, soybean production for the soon-to-end 2022-23 marketing year is pegged at 369 million tonnes, up from 357 million in 2021-22. 

Additionally, the soybean output in 2023-24 is likely to rise sharply to 402 million tonnes.

According to the IGC, the recent increase in dry weather, including parts of the US Corn Belt, is the reason for its lowered total grains production forecast for the upcoming marketing year (2023-24).

Meanwhile, the soybean consumption projection for 2023-24 was unchanged from the last report at 389 million tonnes, marking a 27 million tonnes increase from 2022-23.

Finally, the soybeans trade forecast decreased by 1 million tonnes from the previous report to 172 million tonnes but is still 4 million tonnes higher the last year’s figure.

Grain traders to continue facing challenges 

In other news, analysts at the recent International Grains Council (IGC) Conference in London, England, held that traders face continued uncertainty over supply from Ukraine through the Black Sea. 

Food security is greatly affected by the COVID pandemic and climate change, further exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The international community must once again come together to ensure a stable food supply,” Kei Takagi, Japan’s Parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, said

Takagi highlighted the impact of the Black Sea grain deal and urged that “the food supply not be used as a weapon of war.

The analysts also provided that there were likely to be significant changes in consumption patterns globally as people respond to shortages and adapt to ways of dealing with food insecurity and climate change. 

Another important trend is the incorporation of local crops into flour, for example, cassava, corn, sorghum,” Fabien Varagnac said, reporting on the growth of Africa’s milling sector. 

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