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IGC cuts forecast for 2020/21 global wheat crop

(Reuters) The International Grains Council (IGC) trimmed its forecast for global wheat production in the 2020/21 season, driven partly by downward revisions for Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body cut its global wheat crop forecast by 4 million tonnes to 764 million tonnes "as less than ideal conditions are harming crop prospects in Europe and the Black Sea region."

Dry weather has been a concern although there have been some recent showers in Ukraine and the European Union, and rains are expected to arrive in Russia's southern regions in early May.

The global wheat crop in 2020/21 was still seen at a record level, exceeding the prior season's 762 million tonnes. Wheat stocks were seen rising for the second successive season.

The council put 2020/21 world corn (maize) production at a record 1.158 billion tonnes, marginally up from its previous projection of 1.157 billion and well above the prior season's 1.119 billion.

Global corn stocks were, however, still expected to fall. The IGC also made substantial revisions to its estimates for the current 2019/20 season with global grains consumption cut by 11 million tonnes to 2.18 billion tonnes "with the biggest reduction for industrial usage, led by a sharp slowdown in demand for ethanol processing."

"Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted demand, particularly for industrial processing, and grains consumption is expected to be only modestly higher year-on-year," the IGC said. Lockdowns across the globe have reduced demand for motor fuel and curbed demand for biofuel ethanol.

The IGC made a more modest downward revision to its global grains consumption forecast for 2020/21 of 4 million tonnes to 2.22 billion tonnes.

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