According to the FAO’s latest cereal supply and demand brief, prospects for global cereal production in 2022 is likely to record its first decrease in four years to 2.784 million tonnes, down 16 million tonnes from the record output estimated for 2021.
The international organisation projected that maize output would record the largest decline, followed by wheat and rice, while barley and sorghum outputs will likely increase. The FAO’s projection is based on conditions of crops already in the ground and planting intentions for those yet to be sown.
World cereal utilisation is also projected to decline marginally in the 2022/23 season by around 0.1 percent from 2021/22 to 2 788 million tonnes, marking the first contraction in 20 years. The decline mainly stems from foreseen decreases in the feed use of wheat, coarse grains and rice.
Meanwhile, global food consumption of cereals is expected to increase, keeping pace with world population trends, but global trade in cereals is projected to fall by 2.6 percent from the 2021/22 level to 463 million tonnes, a three-year low, even as prospects for international trade of rice remain positive.
The new forecasts reflect a drop in inventories, resulting in the world cereal stocks-to-use ratio dropping to 29.6 percent in 2022/23 from 30.5 percent in 2021/2022. A drawdown in maize inventories is expected to lead the decline,but wheat stocks are expected to increase.
The FAO stated that the new level would be the lowest in nine years, but still well above the 21.4 percent low recorded in the 2007/08 season.