By FWi staff

WORLD production of coarse grains has been predicted down by 1 million at 887 million tonnes – 10 million tonnes lower than in 1997.

This decline is a result of revisions for maize output, noted the International Grains Council.

Higher figures for Argentina and the Philippines have been offset by lower production in Brazil and South Africa.

The rye harvest in Russia has also been reduced from earlier estimates.

World trade remains unchanged at 90 million tonnes. This is 1 million tonnes higher than last year, and is the result of increased shipments of barley and rye.

World consumption has been estimated down 1 million at 883 million tonnes. The rising prices for barley favour the use of feed wheat in the EU, and demand for malting barley could decline at current prices, said a spokesman from the IGC.

“Wheat is also tending to displace maize for starch production,” he said.

World estimates – coarse grain
  95-96 96-97 97-98 98-99 (forecast as at 20/01/99) 98-99 (forecast as at 24/02/99)
Production 801 914 897 888 887
Trade 92 92 89 90 90
Consumption 831 883 885 884 883
Stocks 91 124 136 141 140

Also adding to this drop in consumption is the decline in use of feed grain in Japan, on the back of increasing meat imports.

Depleted stocks in Russia following last years poor harvest have resulted in lower world stocks, with estimates falling 1 million to 140 million tonnes.

Some reports indicate that barley stocks in Russia could be the lowest on record by the end of the season, noted the IGC.