By FWi staff

WHEAT exporters must contend with declining world trade if they are to succeed in selling wheat overseas, according to a report released today (4 June).

The outlook for world trade during 1998/9 has declined over the past month, largely because of improved production prospects in China, says the monthly report for May from the London-based International Grains Council (IGC).

Successful procurements from Indias harvest and increased uncertainties about sales to Indonesia have combined to reduce global shipment forecasts, the report says.

Global trade is now forecast at 96 million tonnes for 1998/9, two million tonnes less than the IGCs preliminary projection of 98m tonnes. Total world exports for 1997/98 is estimated at 97m.

World wheat stocks are forecast to decline by 7m tonnes to 127m tonnes but will still be the second highest since 1993/94, the IGC predicts.

Global consumption is likely to reach an estimated 599m tonnes, much higher than last seasons record of 587m.

But favourable growing conditions mean that China and the US are both expected to import less wheat.