February 27, 2020 / 2:45 PM / in a month

IGC sees record world wheat crop in 2020/21 season

Women walk through a wheat field on their way to cast their votes at a polling station during the second phase of general election in Amroha, in Uttar Pradesh, India, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - World wheat production is expected to rise to a record 769 million tonnes in the 2020/21 season boosted by a 2% rise in area, the International Grains Council said on Thursday.

In its monthly update, the inter-governmental body also increased its 2019/20 global wheat crop forecast by 2 million tonnes to 763 million.

“Preliminary supply and demand projections for wheat in 2020/21 point to an all-time high for production and a further build-up of stocks, but with inventory growth again concentrated in China and India,” the IGC said.

The upward revision for 2019/20 global wheat production was partly due to an improved outlook for India where the crop is now seen rising to 103.6 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 102.2 million and the prior season’s 99.7 million.

India said earlier this month that 2019/20 wheat production was expected to rise to a record 106.21 million tonnes as the wettest monsoon in 25 years allowed farmers to expand the area under the winter-sown crop.

The IGC also said world corn (maize) harvested area in 2020/21 was tentatively seen growing by 1%, year-on-year, mainly on a rebound in the United States.

The council increased its forecast for 2019/20 world corn production by 1 million tonnes to 1.112 billion tonnes, still well below the prior season’s 1.130 million.

World soybean production was forecast to fall by 5% in 2019/20 to 345 million tonnes driven by lower U.S. production.

“Mainly on a rebound in the U.S., the 2020/21 global soybean area for harvesting is projected to be up 4%, year-on-year,” the IGC said.

Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle

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