Based on the latest indications, the world cereal supply and demand balance in the 2015/16 marketing season is likely to remain in a generally comfortable situation. While world production is expected to fall below last year's record, supplies will be almost sufficient to meet the projected demand, requiring only a small reduction in global stocks by the end of the season.

World cereal productionin 2015 is currently forecast at 2 534 million tonnes, 6 million tonnes less than expected in September and 24 million tonnes (0.9 percent) below the 2014 record. This month's revision results from lower production prospects for coarse grains and rice, which more than offset a higher estimate for wheat. The forecast for global coarse grains production in 2015 has been lowered by around 5 million tonnes in recent weeks on less buoyant expectations in the United States and the EU, more than offsetting improved prospects in Brazil. The latest forecast puts this year's global coarse grains production at 1 306 million tonnes, 1.8 percent below the record of 2014. The forecast for rice production has also been cut by close to 8 million tonnes, to 493 million tonnes (in milled terms), reflecting the numerous setbacks endured since the onset of the season and the diminishing scope for recovering losses through larger secondary crops as the season advances. At this level, global rice production would be 1.9 million tonnes, or 0.4 percent, lower than the current estimate for 2014, implying a second year of mute or negative growth. By contrast, world wheat production is now forecast at around 735 million tonnes, 6.4 million tonnes above the previous forecast in September and slightly (0.3 percent) exceeding last year's record. Higher wheat production in China and the EU accounts for most of this month's upward adjustment.

World cereal utilizationin 2015/16 is expected to approach 2 530 million tonnes, down 6 million tonnes from the previous forecast, but still 1.2 percent (31 million tonnes) above 2014/15. This month's revision mostly reflects downward adjustments to world food consumption estimates for rice. Total food consumption of cereals is currently put at 1 097 million tonnes, down 21 million tonnes from the previous forecast, but still 1.1 percent higher than the revised estimate for 2014/15. Total feed utilization of cereals is projected at 904 million tonnes, 6.4 million tonnes higher than last reported and 1.8 percent above 2014/15. Higher anticipated feed use in China, Canada and the EU accounts for most of the revision. Total industrial use of cereals (for the production of ethanol, starch and brewing) is projected to increase marginally from 2014/15 as demand by the grain-based fuel ethanol industry is predicted to remain almost flat, mostly reflecting a sluggish growth in the maize intake in the United States. By contrast, a strong demand for starch is anticipated to boost the use of grains for starch production, with most of the increase concentrated in China.

The latest FAO forecast for world cereal stocksby the close of seasons in 2016 stands at 638 million tonnes, 5.4 million tonnes below the figure predicted in September and down 4 million tonnes from their revised opening levels. The main revisions since the previous report concern rice and coarse grains. The projected drop in world inventories is estimated to bring down the global cereal stock-to-use ratio in 2015/16, albeit slightly, from 25.4 percent in 2014/15 to 24.8 percent. Given record crop prospects this year, world wheat inventories are forecast to approach 206 million tonnes, 4 million tonnes more than anticipated in September and 3 million tonnes above 2015. End-of-season coarse grain stocks are projected at 267.6 million tonnes, down marginally (1.6 million tonnes) from their all-time high level in 2014. On the other hand, with global production expected to fall short of utilization, world rice stocks are forecast to drop by 6 million tonnes to 164.3 million tonnes in 2016, 5.3 million tonnes less than foreseen last month.

World cereal trade in 2015/16 is forecast at nearly 364 million tonnes, 3.3 million tonnes more than last reported, but still 11 million tonnes (2.9 percent) below the 2014/15 record. Most of this season's contraction stems from sharp expected drops in wheat and coarse grains shipments, while trade in rice is anticipated to rebound in 2016. Based on the latest indications, international wheat trade in 2015/16 (July/June) could reach 150 million tonnes, down almost 6 million tonnes from 2014/15, as lower imports by Morocco and several countries in Asia are predicted to more than offset increased imports by some other countries. Total coarse grains trade is expected to hover around 169 million tonnes in 2015/16 (July/June), also down about 6 million tonnes from last season, mostly on lower expected imports by Mexico and several Asian countries. Rice trade in 2016 (January/December) is now forecast at near 45 million tonnes, 1 million tonnes, or 2.2 percent, more than last year and almost 3 million tonnes above the precedent forecast in September. Besides reassessing trade availabilities and requirements in light of more pessimistic 2015 crop prospects, the new figures take unrecorded trade flows into better consideration

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 . . . . . . . . )
2005/062047.42520.12034.8247.3468.623.417.3
2006/072012.62481.22061.1257.7426.420.213.6
2007/082124.92551.32120.2273.9430.520.114.1
2008/092281.52712.02181.4287.0514.123.819.2
2009/102261.72775.82220.2280.4552.124.920.1
2010/112253.32805.32275.4289.1525.322.717.9
2011/122348.82874.12313.0323.7548.423.618.1
2012/132298.52846.92324.2317.7530.421.916.7
2013/142522.83053.22424.7361.9595.023.817.9
2014/152558.43153.32498.9375.0642.025.417.6
2015/162534.33176.32529.6364.0637.824.815.7
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 . . . . . . . . )
2005/06625.9808.9623.6111.6177.128.421.9
2006/07601.2778.3624.7113.8155.924.214.9
2007/08612.0767.9619.5113.6146.222.414.0
2008/09681.8828.0645.3141.0173.526.518.8
2009/10685.4858.9654.1131.6202.430.622.5
2010/11653.6856.0659.6128.6196.728.421.4
2011/12700.9897.6691.4148.8197.428.918.2
2012/13660.0857.4684.2142.4176.025.413.8
2013/14715.6891.6693.9156.8188.426.413.8
2014/15732.9921.2712.9155.8202.627.915.6
2015/16734.8937.4727.0150.0205.928.916.8
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 . . . . . . . . )
2005/06999.41197.6992.7106.6197.619.517.2
2006/07986.01183.61013.2112.3176.316.112.1
2007/081076.91253.21069.3130.2185.916.612.6
2008/091142.21328.01093.7116.1223.419.916.3
2009/101122.41345.81119.5116.6226.119.616.0
2010/111132.41358.51155.7123.8199.217.311.1
2011/121163.81363.01153.9134.4205.317.611.1
2012/131150.31355.61166.1135.2194.315.68.6
2013/141312.71507.01247.5159.8236.418.311.2
2014/151330.61566.91291.7175.2269.220.713.7
2015/161306.51575.71302.6169.0267.620.112.9
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 . . . . . . . . )
2005/06422.1513.6418.629.193.925.112.9
2006/07425.4519.3423.131.694.324.313.7
2007/08435.9530.2431.530.298.425.715.8
2008/09457.5555.9442.329.9117.129.322.4
2009/10453.8571.0446.632.1123.630.021.9
2010/11467.3590.9460.136.7129.427.721.2
2011/12484.0613.4467.840.4145.730.725.1
2012/13488.2633.8473.940.1160.133.127.8
2013/14494.5654.5483.345.3170.334.428.8
2014/15494.9665.1494.344.0170.334.123.4
2015/16493.0663.3499.945.0164.332.317.6
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.