By FWi staff

WORLD wheat production has been forecast 2 million tonnes lower at 568 million tonnes, according to the International grains Council (IGC) monthly forecast.

Revisions include reductions for the former Soviet block, the USA and Syria, which in total is offset by higher figures for India, Tunisia and Australia, noted the IGC.

A number of countries have altered their predictions for world trade resulting in a 1 million tonne increase at 100m tonnes. This is 6m tonnes higher than in 1998/99.

The greatest increase in imports will be seen in Iran, China, Pakistan and Morocco, and will be the result of domestic harvest shortfalls.

In contrast, the IGC expects a better outturn of rice to reduce imports of wheat into Bangladesh, with Korea taking less feed wheat as well.

World estimates – wheat
  96-97 97-98 98-99 99-00 (forecast as at 28/04/99) 99-00 (forecast as at 26/05/99)
Production 582 610 585 570 568
Trade 95 95 943 99 100
Consumption 582 590 586 588 586
Stocks 110 130 129 111 111

Export availabilities in the major exporting countries should cover forecast export demand, but sales from those in Eastern Europe are expected to decline.

World consumption is not forecast to change from the previous year at 586m tonnes although demand for food use in developing countries will increase, but only modestly.

Feed use of wheat is likely to decline, mainly because of substantial availability of feed grains and oilseeds in the EU and the USA, said a spokesman from the IGC.

World stocks are forecast at 111m tonnes in 1999/2000, with a total carryover in the five major exporting countries of 51m tonnes – this would be the highest level since 1993.