WHEAT

The International Grains Council (IGC) on 30th October raised its forecast for global wheat production in 2014/15 to reflect an improved outlook in the European Union and Ukraine. The outlook for wheat was raised for a fifth month in a row. Australia's harvest outlook was cut to 24 MMT from 25 MMT.

The IGC, in a monthly update, put world wheat production in 2014/15 at a new record – 717.6 MMT, up from a previous forecast of 716.6 MMT and last year's harvest result (712.5 MMT). IGC said planting of 2015/16 winter crops was well advanced, with total area projected to rise by 1% year-on-year.

Global demand is forecast to increase quite strongly, due to above-average growth in food, feed and industrial consumption. Overall use is placed at a record 710 MMT, up 1 MMT compared to the September report and 2% higher year-on-year.

Ending stocks of wheat are predicted to climb to 192.9 MMT from 185 MMT, according to the IGC, which lowered the outlook for inventories by 1.6 MMT.

Led by gains in the eight major exporters, end-season inventories are seen at their highest in four years. EU closing stocks are forecast to nearly double.

CORN

The IGC projected world corn production at 979.7 MMT, up 5.5 MMT from last month's forecast but still below the prior season's record harvest (983.3 MMT).

The outlook for U.S. corn production was raised by 5 MMT to 365 MMT, compared with last year's harvest of 353.7 MMT. Farmers in Europe will gather 72.9 MMT, 2.2 MMT more than predicted last month and versus 64 MMT year ago.

Despite further upgrades to US and EU crop forecasts, world production is still placed slightly short of last year's record, due to expected declines in China and South America. Brazil's crop is seen at 75 MMT from 79.9 MMT a year ago. In Argentina, output will drop to 23 MMT from 24 MMT a year earlier, while Chinese corn production is expected to fall to 213.8 MMT from 218.5 MMT.

Global supplies appear comfortable, particularly in the key exporters, with ending stocks forecast at their highest since 1987/88.

Corn carryover stocks are seen climbing to 194.1 MMT from 175.4 MMT, with the outlook raised by 2.7 MMT from last month, the report showed. Stocks held by the main exporters are forecast to climb to 72 MMT from 52 MMT last season.

Consumption is projected to increase to a new record. With world meat production continuing to rise, competitively-priced maize should be well placed to capture additional demand