FOREIGN COUNTRIES' POLICIES AND PROGRAMS
WORLD AND U.S. GRAIN OVERVIEW
Global wheat trade in 1997/98 is projected at 98.2 million tons, .5 million tons higher than the 1996/97 level. While world production is forecast to reach a record 609 million tons, the most significant increases occurred in countries that currently have a minimal impact on trade, mainly China and the former Soviet Union. Total export availability in Argentina, Australia, Canada, and the European Union is forecast down 12 million tons from the previous year, however, the 6.6 million ton increase in the U.S. crop partially offsets this loss. Global production will exceed consumption for the second year in a row, and prospective increase in global ending stocks, up 24 million tons, will enable the global stocks-to-use ratio to recover from the past three years.
Global rice trade in calendar year 1998 is projected at 20.1 million tons, a 1.3 million ton increase over the estimated 1997 level, and the second highest level on record. The high level of trade is fueled by record world production and strong demand in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia. International supplies should be sufficient to meet this additional demand, as overall world production (rough basis) is forecast at 566 million tons, a 5.1 million ton increase over last year. Record crops are forecast for China and India, and the worlds largest exporter, Thailand, is forecast to increase production by nearly 1 million tons. In addition to increasing availability for export, the strong production forecast also translates into an expected 2.5 million ton increase in world stocks.
World trade in coarse grains is estimated at 90 million tons this month, down 1.1 million tons from the previous estimate. Among exporters, however, significant changes were made in estimated market share in both the corn and barley markets. U.S. coarse grains exports are estimated at 47.9 million tons, 3.2 million tons lower than last months estimate. Overall coarse grains exports by Argentina are now expected to reach a record 13.3 million tons, 1.8 million tons higher than last month. For barley, the estimate of EU exports was reduced 1 million tons (to 5.0 million), while Russian exports are now estimated at 1.5 million tons, up from 1.0 million. Global coarse grains consumption is unchanged at 906 million tons, while world ending stocks are forecast at 105 million tons, up two million tons from the previous forecast.
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