IGC cuts 2012-13 wheat crop outlook

The International Grains Council on Monday cut its forecast for global wheat production in 2012-13 as the outlook for the crop in key exporter Russia deteriorated.

World wheat production was cut to 665 million tonnes from a previous forecast of 671 million and now stands well below the prior season’s 695 million.

"The outlook for world wheat production in 2012-13 continued to be affected by unfavourable weather conditions in some countries including a further deterioration in crop expectations in Russia," the IGC said in a monthly report.

The IGC cut its forecast for Russia’s wheat crop by six million tonnes to 49 million tonnes.

A Reuters poll last week produced a median forecast for Russia’s wheat crop of 50.5 million tonnes, down from the prior season’s 56.2 million.

The IGC also downwardly revised its forecast for Ukraine’s wheat crop by one million tonnes to 13.0 million, slightly below the median estimate in the Reuters poll of 13.6 million.

The EU’s wheat outlook was, however, upwardly revised to 132.1 million tonnes from 131.2 million and the U.S. wheat crop forecast was raised to 60.5 million from 59 million.

"Results from the U.S. harvest were generally better than expected, while recent rains helped crops in parts of the EU to show some recovery from the less than ideal conditions earlier in the season," the IGC said.

The IGC forecast world wheat stocks at the end of the 2012-13 season at 182 million tonnes, a decline of 17 million tonnes from a year earlier and a four-year low.

More maize

World maize production in 2012-13 was upwardly revised by four million tonnes to a record 917 million tonnes.

"While the market has been focusing on deteriorating U.S. conditions for maize, prospects elsewhere have become brighter, particularly in China and India," the IGC said.

"However, the risks are on the downside unless U.S. weather prospects improve."

The maize crop in China, the world’s No. 2 producer, was raised by six million tonnes to 195 million, and India’s by one million tonnes to 22 million. The U.S. maize crop was cut by five million tonnes to 350 million.

Global maize stocks at the end of the 2012-13 season were downwardly revised by four million tonnes to 137 million but were still above the prior season’s 129 million tonnes.

"After three successive drawdowns, the global (maize) carryover is forecast to rise, with an increase in the U.S. offsetting generally tighter stocks elsewhere, notably in Brazil," the IGC said.

— Nigel Hunt is a Reuters correspondent in London, England.

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