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IGC calls for more wheat despite lowering global forecast

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File photo of an Alberta wheat field. (ImagineGolf/E+/Getty Images)

MarketsFarm — At close to 1.03 billion tonnes, there’s going to be more wheat in the world in 2019-20 than in the previous marketing year, according to the latest outlook from the International Grains Council (IGC).

The London-based organization released its report on Jan. 23, in which it revised its previous forecast — but with those figures largely remaining above estimates for 2018-19.

The IGC forecast global opening stocks at 265.1 million tonnes, down 5.4 million tonnes from the previous year. In December, the council pegged opening stocks at 265.3 million tonnes.

Production was revised by 500,000 tonnes, lowered to 761.1 million tonnes. However, that was still 3.8 per cent above the IGC’s 2018-19 estimate.

That meant the total global supply was forecast to reach 1.026 billion tonnes, for a slight drop of nearly 0.6 per cent from December. But that remains ahead of the 1.004 billion tonnes estimated in 2018-19.

Total use slipped from December to January by 0.2 per cent at 754.1 million tonnes, but that was 15.5 million more than the previous year.

Exports are expected to be higher in 2019-20, at 174.6 million tonnes, said the IGC. That’s an increase from December’s estimate of 1.5 million and it would be a 3.4 per cent increase from 2018-19’s estimates.

Closing stocks were upped from 271 million tonnes in December to 272.1 million in the IGC’s January report — a rise of 2.6 per cent from the previous year’s estimates.

Table: Top wheat producing countries, 2019-20, in millions of tonnes.

Country 2019-20.   .
2018-19.    .
2017-18
EU-28 155.5 137.8 151.4
China 133.6 131.4 134.3
India 102.2 99.7 98.5
Russia 73.5 71.7 85.1
U.S. 52.3 51.3 47.4
Canada 32.3 32.2 30.4
Ukraine 29.0 25.1 27.0
Argentina 19.0 19.5 18.5
Australia 15.9 17.3 20.9
Kazakhstan.   . 11.5 13.9 14.8
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