World total cereal production is forecast to increase by seven per cent in 2013 compared to last year, helping to replenish global inventories and raise expectations for more stable markets in 2013/14.
According to the latest issue of Food Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report; the increase would bring world cereal production to 2,479 million tonnes, a new record level.
FAO now puts world wheat output in 2013 at 704 million tonnes, an increase of 6.8 per cent, which more than recoups the previous year’s reduction and represents the highest level in history.
“World production of coarse grains in 2013 is now forecast by FAO at about 1,275 million tonnes, up sharply (9.7 per cent) from 2012.
“World rice production in 2013 is forecast to expand by 1.9 per cent to 500 million tonnes (milled equivalent) although prospects are still very provisional.
“Cereal imports of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries for 2013/14 are estimated to rise by some 5 per cent, compared to 2012/13 to meet growing demand. Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria, in particular, are forecast to import larger volumes,” it said.
It observed that international prices of wheat declined slightly in June with the onset of the 2013 harvests in the Northern Hemisphere.
It said: “By contrast, maize prices increased, supported by continued tight supplies; while export prices of rice were generally stable.”
The report focuses on developments affecting the food security situation of developing countries.
In its review of food insecurity hotspots, the report said in West Africa, the overall food situation was favourable in most parts of the Sahel following an above-average 2012 cereal harvest.
It however, said that a large number of people were still affected by conflict and the lingering effects of the 2011/12 food crisis.
“In total, there are 34 countries requiring external food assistance, of which 27 countries are in Africa,” the report stated.