25 November 1998
South American wheat production drops by a quarter

THE International Grains Council (IGC) forecasts that South American wheat production will fall by a quarter this year – to 14.8 million tonnes against last years 19.8m tonnes.

The council reports this will be due to shrinking wheat planting in Argentina – the regions largest producer.

Low prices and attractive margins available for growing other crops are to blame for the decline.

Increased production by Australia is making up for some of the shortfall in the southern hemisphere.

The IGC predicts world wheat production this year will reach 584m tonnes, or 2m tonnes lower than its previous estimate.

World consumption is forecast to come in 3m tonnes up on the previous estimate of 594m tonnes.