IGC raises forecast for 2014-15 global corn crop

London | Reuters — The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its forecast for the 2014-15 world corn (maize) crop, reflecting an upward revision to production in China.

Global corn production was forecast to total 982 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 980 million and just shy of the prior 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, the world’s No. 2 producer, was put at 216 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 213.8 million but still just below the prior season’s 218.5 million.

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

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

Record corn demand

Global corn consumption in 2014-15 was upwardly revised by two million tonnes to 963 million tonnes.

“World demand is forecast to increase to record highs, driven by a three per cent gain in feed consumption,” the IGC said.

The IGC also cut its forecast for the 2014-15 global wheat crop by one million tonnes to a still record 717 million, up from the prior season’s 713 million.

The downward revision was driven by a sharp cut to Algeria’s crop which was put at just 1.9 million tonnes versus a previous forecast of three million and the prior 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 per cent, year-on-year.

— Reporting for Reuters by Nigel Hunt in London, England.

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