FAO's latest forecast for world cereal production in 2019 - available in the Cereal Supply and Demand Brief- points to an increase of 1.2 percent from the previous year to reach 2 685 million tons, a sharp downward revision from the forecast made in May when global cereal production was predicted to expand by 2.7 percent.
The year-on-year increase in global cereal production reflects expansions of wheat and barley production, while global rice output is likely to remain close to last year's record level. Worldwide maize output, however, is now seen to fall, with U.S. production expected to shrink by 10% from the previous year amid a much reduced pace of plantings due to unfavorable weather conditions.
World cereal utilization in the year ahead is now forecast to reach 2 707 million tons, somewhat down from the May forecast but still 1 percent higher than in 2018/19. Global rice utilization is predicted to reach 518 million tons, a 1.4 percent annual increase, while that of wheat is expected to grow 1.2 percent, reaching 755 million tons.
Based on the new estimates for production and utilization, world cereal stocks could decline by as much as 3 percent in the new season, hitting a four-year low of 830 million tons. The anticipated decline would result in the global cereal stock-to-use ration dipping below 30%, which, nonetheless, still points to a relatively comfortable supply level.
World trade in cereals is forecast to rise to 414 million tons, up 1.4 percent from the estimated level for the previous year, led by a strong rebound in wheat trade driven by a stronger import demand by several countries in Africa and Asia, combined with expectations of large export availabilities in the Black Sea region and the European Union.