With the season about to close, world cereal production in 2015 is now estimated at 2 525 million tonnes, 6.3 million tonnes less than foreseen in February. This month-to-month adjustment mainly reflects lower wheat production estimates in India, following the release of new Government figures, and in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where official numbers were downscaled significantly starting from 2010. In addition, the 2015 estimate for world coarse grains output was trimmed by 2 million tonnes, following small reductions in Asia. Newly released official figures in India and the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with more pessimistic prospects for Bangladesh and Afghanistan, were much behind a slightly reduced global rice production forecast. At the current level, world cereal production in 2015 would be 1.4 percent (35.8 million tonnes) below the record reached in 2014, the result of declining global maize and rice outputs.

Looking ahead to the forthcoming season, FAO's first production forecast for wheat in 2016 stands at 723 million tonnes, or 1.4 percent (10 million tonnes) below the record output achieved in 2015. The projected decrease would be mostly on account of reductions in winter plantings in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, largely driven by dry-weather conditions. On the other hand, more favourable growing conditions are anticipated to sustain near-record harvests in China and Pakistan, while helping production to recover in India. In the United States, early prospects put production at just below the 2015 level, as higher yields are expected to make up for reduced winter plantings.

Global cereal utilization in 2015/16 is forecast at 2 523 million tonnes, only 0.7 percent above the 2014/15 estimate. Food consumption of cereals is projected at 1 096 million tonnes, up 1.1 percent from 2014/15, while feed utilization is forecast to grow by 1.2 percent to 903 million tonnes. Among the major cereals, wheat utilization is seen rising by 1.8 percent to 724 million tonnes, slightly less than earlier forecast. The year-on-year increase not only mirrors expectations of increasing food consumption, but also a resurgence of wheat usage in animal rations in the EU. As for coarse grains, world utilization in 2015/16 is expected to remain steady at around 1 301 million tonnes, with that of maize, the most important coarse grains in terms of production and consumption, projected to increase by only 0.2 percent, reflecting the livestock sector's anticipated shift towards wheat in Europe. Nonetheless, the use of maize for feed is expected to increase relatively strongly in several countries, most importantly in China and Argentina. World utilization of rice, a major food staple, is predicted to expand by 1.1 percent, sustained by a 1.3 percent increase in food consumption. Although the usage of rice in feeds remains relatively small, it is forecast to grow by over 3 percent in 2015/16, stimulated by the disposal of low quality supplies in China and Thailand and by the increasing availability of rice specifically grown for feed purposes in Japan.

The FAO forecast for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons ending in 2016 has been lowered by 6.2 million tonnes this month to around 636 million tonnes, slightly below their very high opening level. In spite of this cut, the FAO cereal stock-to-use ratio, a leading indicator of global world food security, still stands at a relatively comfortable level of 24.7 percent, only slightly below the previous season. Most of this month's downward revision concerned wheat inventories, which were lowered by almost 6 million tonnes to 205 million tonnes, largely on account of two countries: the Islamic Republic of Iran and Uzbekistan. The decrease in historical (since 2004/05) stock numbers in the Islamic Republic of Iran, following significant revisions to both domestic utilization and production estimates, resulted in a cut of 3.9 million tonnes in the country's 2016 projected ending wheat inventories to 2.6 million tonnes. Reduced imports coupled, with some historical stock revisions, were also responsible for a 2.3 million tonne cut in projected ending inventories in Uzbekistan, to just under 2 million tonnes. The forecast for world coarse grains stocks has also been lowered, by 1.3 million tonnes (0.5 percent), to almost 264 million tonnes, mostly reflecting adjustments to maize inventory projections for Brazil, India, Indonesia and the Islamic Republic of Iran. By contrast, rice stocks in 2016 have been raised since last month, partly reflecting heightened estimates for 2014 production in India, which boosted the country's opening stock levels this season. Forecasts of rice closing inventories in 2016 were also raised for the Philippines and for South American countries as a whole. However, compared to 2015, world rice reserves are anticipated to end 5.6 million tonnes, or 3.2 percent, lower.

World trade in cereals in 2015/16 is forecast at 368 million tonnes, implying a 7.6 million tonne (2.0 percent) decline from the 2014/15 trade estimate. Global wheat trade in 2015/16 (July/June) is forecast at 151.5 million tonnes, almost 4 million tonnes (2.5 percent) less than in the previous season. The anticipated reduction is mostly driven by shrinking import requirements in several countries, especially Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The forecast for international trade in coarse grains in 2015/16 (July/June) has been raised this month, by just over 500 000 tonnes, to 171.5 million tonnes. The revision reflects larger anticipated imports of maize by Mexico and of barley by Libya, which more than offset lower forecasts for maize imports by Canada and China. By contrast, prospects for rice trade in calendar year 2016 have been reduced somewhat since February, on smaller expected imports by the Philippines and Sri Lanka

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 . . . . . . . . . . . )
2005/062047,52520,32033,3247,4471,323,417,4
2006/072012,32483,62058,5257,8431,720,213,8
2007/082124,62556,22122,0273,0436,120,114,3
2008/092280,52716,62181,9286,1517,723,819,2
2009/102259,02776,82218,0279,7558,524,920,2
2010/112249,52808,02276,1289,6528,922,818,0
2011/122343,62872,52314,9323,2548,023,618,1
2012/132292,42840,52323,6318,0526,521,716,8
2013/142519,23045,72429,6361,2585,723,417,8
2014/152560,43146,12505,2375,9636,525,217,7
2015/162524,63161,12523,0368,3636,224,715,9
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 . . . . . . . . . . . )
2005/06625,9810,0623,5111,7178,428,421,9
2006/07600,9779,4624,2113,9157,924,214,9
2007/08611,6769,5619,6113,6148,122,414,0
2008/09680,9829,0645,0140,1175,826,518,8
2009/10684,3860,2654,3130,7205,730,622,5
2010/11652,2857,8661,2129,0198,128,621,4
2011/12697,2895,3693,3148,3196,028,718,2
2012/13654,6850,5682,6142,8172,624,914,1
2013/14710,8883,4692,2156,3182,625,714,1
2014/15729,1911,7711,1155,4199,927,616,6
2015/16733,0932,9723,6151,5205,128,818,3
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 . . . . . . . . . . . )
2005/06999,51196,7991,6106,6198,519,517,4
2006/07986,01184,61011,3112,3178,816,112,7
2007/081077,01255,91070,5129,2189,016,613,0
2008/091142,11331,11094,4116,1224,319,916,4
2009/101120,91345,21116,8116,8228,919,616,3
2010/111130,11359,01155,0123,8200,917,411,3
2011/121162,41363,31154,0134,4205,617,611,1
2012/131149,71355,31167,4135,1192,815,48,4
2013/141313,91506,81254,3159,4231,417,810,4
2014/151336,61568,01301,4175,4263,820,312,5
2015/161300,21564,01301,1171,5263,819,812,1
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 . . . . . . . . . . . )
2005/06422,1513,6418,129,194,325,112,9
2006/07425,4519,7423,131,695,024,313,7
2007/08435,9530,9431,830,299,025,715,8
2008/09457,5556,5442,429,9117,629,322,4
2009/10453,8571,4446,932,1123,930,021,9
2010/11467,2591,2459,836,7129,927,821,2
2011/12484,0613,9467,640,4146,430,925,1
2012/13488,2634,6473,640,1161,033,327,8
2013/14494,5655,5483,145,5171,734,828,9
2014/15494,7666,5492,845,1172,834,723,9
2015/16491,4664,2498,345,3167,232,917,1
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.