By FWi Staff

LOWER figures from the CIS countries and the USA have cut world production estimates in 1998/99 by 3 million to 905 million tonnes. However, small increases have been seen in the EU, Brazil and Ethiopia.

The figure for maize output in China has remained at 120m tonnes, but maybe somewhat lower following large-scale flooding.

The forecast for world trade is unchanged at 90m tonnes, 1 million above the revised figure for 1997/98. Increases in requirements in a number of countries in Near East Asia and Africa reflects this modest increase.

The International Grains Council forecasts Chinas imports to rise by almost 1 million to 2.7m tonnes, with malting barley attributing to the majority of this growth. However, Chinas exports of maize could fall by 4 million to 3m tonnes.

The forecast for world consumption has been reduced by 4 million to 895m tonnes. This significant fall is mainly due to lower output estimates for CIS countries.

In the USA, maize will face strong competition from wheat in livestock rations, but usage for production of ethanol and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) will increase.

World estimates – coarse grains
  95-96 96-97 97-98 98-99 (forecast as at 29/07/98) 98-99 (forecast as at 26/08/98)
Production 800 912 904 908 905
Trade 92 93 89 90 90
Consumption 832 882 891 899 895
Stocks 93 124 137 145 147

The revised forecast for world stocks is up 2 million from last month at 147m tonnes, 10 million more than in 1997/98. The majority of the increase is expected to take place in the United States, with a rise in the EU created by the decline in CIS countries.