Global wheat production forecast to be lower than expected – UN
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has cut its global wheat production forecast for 2010 due to the impact of poor weather on crops in recent weeks, but allayed fears of a new food crisis, noting that current stocks should be adequate.
The global wheat production forecast is now expected to be 651 million tonnes, down from the 676 million tonnes reported in June, the Rome-based agency said in a news release.
Fears about the availability of world wheat supply are attributed to an ongoing, devastating drought affecting crops in Russia, combined with anticipated lower outputs in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
Global wheat prices have jumped by over 50 per cent since June, prompting concerns about a repeat of the food crisis of 2007/2008.
FAO noted that the recent turmoil in global wheat markets is evidence of the growing dependence on the Black Sea region, “an area renowned for erratic yields,” as a major supplier of wheat to world markets.
An expected production decline in Canada, another major producer and exporter of wheat, has also contributed to market worries.
However, the agency pointed out that global inventories have been sufficiently replenished, thanks to two consecutive years of record crops, to cover the anticipated production shortfall.
In addition, stocks held by the traditional wheat exporters – the main buffer against unexpected events – remain ample, according to FAO.
“Despite production problems in some leading exporting countries, the world wheat market remains far more balanced than at the time of the world food crisis in 2007/2008 and fears of a new global food crisis are not justified at this point,” it stated.