By Jimoh Babatunde
Nigeria, Egypt and Indonesia have been predicted as countries that will import large volumes of cereal this year as world total cereal production is forecast to increase by about seven percent compared to last year.
According to the latest issue of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s quarterly Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, the rise in cereal production will help to replenish global inventories and raise expectations for more stable markets in 2013/14.
The increase, according to the report, would bring world cereal production to 2 479 million tonnes, a new record level.
FAO now puts world wheat output in 2013 at 704 million tonnes, an increase of 6.8 percent, which more than recoups the previous year’s reduction and represents the highest level in history.
World production of coarse grains in 2013 is now forecast by FAO at about 1 275 million tonnes, up sharply (9.7 percent) from 2012.
World rice production in 2013 is forecast to expand by 1.9 percent to 500 million tonnes (milled equivalent) although prospects are still very provisional.
Import forecasts, cereal prices
Cereal imports of Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries for 2013/14 are estimated to rise by some 5 percent, compared to 2012/13, to meet growing demand. Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria, in particular, are forecast to import larger volumes.
International prices of wheat declined slightly in June with the onset of the 2013 harvests in the Northern Hemisphere. By contrast, maize prices increased, supported by continued tight supplies. Export prices of rice were generally stable.