FAO's latest forecast for global cereal production in 2015 stands at 2 540 million tonnes, 13.8 million tonnes more than expected in July, but still 21 million tonnes (0.8 percent) below the 2014 record. This month's upward revision results from more buoyant production prospects for coarse grains, wheat and rice. The forecast for 2015 global coarse grains output has been raised by 7.5 million tonnes to 1 311 million tonnes, still 19.9 million tonnes (1.5 percent) short of the 2014 record. This month's upgrade was mostly driven by Argentina (maize), Brazil (maize), and the United States (maize and sorghum), on better than anticipated growing conditions, more than offsetting a cut in the EU (maize), where dry and hot weather dampened yield expectations. As the harvest is nearing completion in the Northern Hemisphere, the forecast for global wheat production in 2015 is becoming firmer, with 728 million tonnes now expected to be garnered, 5 million tonnes more than previously foreseen. Bigger crops in Australia, the EU, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, due to larger than anticipated plantings and favourable weather, more than offset a downgrade in Canada, where major growing areas continued to be affected by dry conditions. Despite this revision, the forecast still implies a small contraction of 4.6 million tonnes (0.6 percent) from the 2014 record output. Prospects for world rice production (milled basis) have also improved since last month, albeit by only 1.3 million tonnes, much of which attributable to India, where plantings are progressing in line with last season in spite of the prevailing El Niño. Based on the current forecast of 501 million tonnes, global rice production would be 3.6 million tonnes (0.7 percent) greater than in 2014.

World cereal utilization in 2015/16 is projected to approach 2 536 million tonnes, up marginally from the last forecast in July and 1.2 percent (30 million tonnes) above the previous season. Food consumption of cereals is set to reach 1 117 million tonnes, up 1.3 percent from 2014/15 and keeping pace with the overall population growth. Wheat for human consumption is put at 492 million tonnes in 2015/16, up almost 1 percent from 2014/15, while rice food consumption is set to increase by 1.7 percent to 422 million tonnes. Total feed utilization of cereals is projected at 898 million tonnes, some 1.4 percent higher than in 2014/15, indicating a significant deceleration when compared to growth rates of the past two seasons. Nonetheless, nearly half of the overall increase in total cereal utilization in 2015/16 is expected to be absorbed by the animal sector, mainly owing to 9.5 million tonnes rise in maize feed use particularly in China, but also Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.

The FAO forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of the seasons in 2016 has been raised by almost 12 million tonnes since July, to 643 million tonnes, on more optimistic crop prospects, putting this season's ending inventories only 6 million tonnes (1 percent) below its record high opening level. This results in a fairly high stock-to-use ratio of 25.0 percent in 2015/16, down slightly from 25.6 percent in the previous season, but well above the 18.5 percent low registered in 2007/08. Global wheat inventories are forecast to reach 202 million tonnes, 4 million tonnes more than foreseen in July and slightly larger than last season's level. As a result, the world wheat stock-to-use ratio is estimated to increase from 27.9 percent in 2014/15 to 28.3 percent in 2015/16, the highest in four years. Following improved production prospects, world inventories of coarse grains are now predicted to reach an all-time high of almost 272 million tonnes in 2016, 7.4 million tonnes more than forecast in July and 2.1 million tonnes (0.8 percent), above last season. This lifts this season's coarse grains stock-to-use ratio from 20.0 percent to 20.5 percent, marginally lower than the 20.7 percent estimated for 2014/15. The forecast for global rice inventories in 2016 has changed little since last month, approaching 170 million tonnes. If confirmed, this would imply a 5 percent contraction from 2015, contributing to a decline in world rice stock-to-use ratio to 32.6 percent, down from 35.0 percent in 2014/15.

World cereal trade in 2015/16 is now forecast at 360.6 million tonnes, 2.6 million tonnes more than expected in July, but still 11.7 million tonnes (3.2 percent) below the 2014/15 record. This season's expected contraction mainly reflects a lower import demand for wheat and coarse grains, while rice trade is anticipated to remain close to the 2015 level. Based on the latest indications, international wheat trade in 2015/16 (July/June) could hover around 150 million tonnes, down slightly from the last report in July and 6 million tonnes (4 percent) below 2014/15. Faced with large domestic supplies, wheat purchases by the Islamic Republic of Iran are likely to be cut sharply in 2015/16, possibly to their lowest level in four years. Likewise, after harvesting bumper crops, Morocco and Turkey are anticipated to import significantly less wheat this season. Total coarse grains trade is expected to reach 168.5 million tonnes in 2015/16 (July/June), up 3.5 million tonnes since the previous report, but still down 5.8 million tonnes (3.3 percent) from last season. This month's upward revision mostly reflects bigger anticipated maize imports by the EU, while the overall decline from 2014/15 would be mostly due to lower purchases by China (maize, barley and sorghum), the Islamic Republic of Iran (maize and barley) and Mexico (maize). Rice trade in 2016 (January/December) is now expected to remain in the order of 42.1 million tonnes, marginally above the current estimate for 2015

WORLD CEREAL MARKET
Production 1/Supply 2/UtilizationTrade 3/Ending stocks 4/World stock-to-use ratioMajor exporters' stock-to-disappearance ratio 5/
( . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )( . . . . . . . percent . . . . . . . )
2005/062048,72531,62035,5247,4481,822,418,6
2006/072014,92496,72062,7257,7440,319,014,6
2007/082129,02569,22123,8273,8447,518,515,2
2008/092283,22730,62183,9286,7528,122,219,5
2009/102263,92792,02221,9279,6566,024,520,0
2010/112255,82821,82276,6288,6541,023,417,8
2011/122350,82891,82315,7322,2565,024,318,1
2012/132300,92866,02328,4315,1546,122,517,0
2013/142525,83072,02432,3359,5605,924,217,3
2014/152561,13167,02505,5372,4649,625,617,7
2015/162540,23189,82535,8360,6643,225,016,4
WORLD WHEAT MARKET
Production 1/Supply 2/UtilizationTrade 3/Ending stocks 4/World stock-to-use ratioMajor exporters' stock-to-disappearance ratio 5/
(. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )( . . . . . percent . . . . . . )
2005/06625,9809,4624,2111,6177,827,721,9
2006/07601,2779,0625,2113,8156,223,314,9
2007/08612,0768,3619,9113,6146,320,014,0
2008/09681,8828,1645,9141,0173,624,718,8
2009/10685,4859,0654,2131,6202,030,322,5
2010/11653,6855,6659,7128,5196,128,321,4
2011/12700,9897,1692,1148,9197,128,818,2
2012/13660,0857,1685,5142,4174,725,213,7
2013/14715,5890,2694,2156,8187,126,213,7
2014/15733,0920,0713,0156,1201,227,915,5
2015/16728,4929,6721,9150,0201,828,316,8
WORLD COARSE GRAIN MARKET
Production 1/Supply 2/UtilizationTrade 3/Ending stocks 4/World stock-to-use ratioMajor exporters' stock-to-disappearance ratio 5/
( . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )( . . . . . percent . . . . . . . )
2005/06999,41197,6992,9106,6197,518,017,2
2006/07986,01183,51013,3112,3176,214,512,1
2007/081076,91253,11069,6130,2185,814,712,6
2008/091142,11327,91093,9116,1223,317,916,3
2009/101122,41345,71119,4116,7226,019,116,0
2010/111132,41358,31155,6124,0199,017,211,1
2011/121163,81362,81154,0134,5205,117,611,1
2012/131150,81355,91166,5135,5194,215,68,6
2013/141313,61507,81247,9159,9236,618,311,2
2014/151331,21567,71291,2174,3269,720,713,9
2015/161311,31581,01304,2168,5271,820,513,6
WORLD RICE MARKET
Production 1/Supply 2/UtilizationTrade 3/Ending stocks 4/World stock-to-use ratioMajor exporters' stock-to-disappearance ratio 5/
( . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . million tonnes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )( . . . . . . percent . . . . . . . )
2005/06423,4524,6418,429,1106,524,916,7
2006/07427,7534,3424,331,6107,824,216,6
2007/08440,0547,9434,430,1115,425,718,9
2008/09459,2574,6444,129,6131,229,323,5
2009/10456,0587,2448,231,3138,029,921,6
2010/11469,8607,8461,336,1145,931,120,7
2011/12486,0631,9469,538,7162,834,225,0
2012/13490,1652,9476,437,2177,236,128,6
2013/14496,7673,9490,342,8182,336,426,9
2014/15497,0679,3501,342,0178,735,023,6
2015/16500,6679,2509,742,1169,632,618,7
1/ Production data refer to the calendar year of the first year shown. Rice production is expressed in milled terms.
2/ Production plus opening stocks.
3/ Trade data refer to exports based on a July/June marketing season for wheat and coarse grains and on a January/December marketing season for rice (second year shown).
4/ May not equal the difference between supply and utilization due to differences in individual country marketing years.
5/ Major wheat exporters are Argentina, Australia, Canada, the EU, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States; major coarse grain exporters are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the EU, Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States; major rice exporters are India, Pakistan, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam. Disappearance is defined as domestic utilization plus exports for any given season.