Thursday, 22 January, 1998

By FWi staff

THE International Grains Council today upped its estimate of a world record wheat harvest to 603 million tonnes.

An increase in the Canadian and Chinese wheat harvests last year offset small reductions in several other countries, said Bill de Maria of the IGCs London headquarters.

China is said to have increased its year-on-year wheat output by more than 12m tonnes to 123m tonnes. High yields were produced in the countrys key cereal areas.

Canadas wheat output estimate remains lower than the 1996 harvest of 29.8 million tonnes, but was increased by 700,000 tonnes to 24.3m tonnes.

Syria is estimated to have experienced the biggest fall in wheat output. Its production is estimated to have dropped by 800,000t to 3.5m tonnes.

The latest IGC monthly report says wheat production during 1998 is unlikely to match last years highs. World wheat output is forecast to fall by 2% to 590m tonnes.

A slight decline in the world wheat area to 225.7m hectares is to blame, said Bill de Maria of the IGCs London headquarters. Consequently, if yields are average, output is likely to be down.

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