03 July 1998
‘Uncertain’ outlook for grain exporters

UNCERTAINTY is set to continue for grain exporters this year because of economic and currency turmoil in Asia, according to the International Grains Council in its latest Grain Market Report published yesterday.

It says buyers in the Asia-Pacific region will look for both the cheapest sources of supply and more favourable credit terms.

Global wheat production is forecast to reach 598 million tonnes in the 1998-99 season – slightly below last seasons 609m-tonne record. This is a revision of last months forecast of 592m tonnes.

Consumption is estimated to reach 600m tonnes, 12m tonnes higher than last seasons figure of 588m tonnes. Stocks are expected to fall from 131m tonnes to 129m tonnes.

The council has also raised its forecast for coarse grain production and estimated declines in the wheat crops of China, India and Russia. But in Pakistan, wheat output this season is forecast at 18.3m tonnes compared with 16.7m tonnes last time.

  • Financial Times 03/07/98 page 30