WORLD COARSE GRAINS SITUATION AND OUTLOOK
Overall, world corn production in 1999/2000 is forecast to rise to a new record 601 million tons, while forecast barley production as presently forecast at 136 million tons is a 25 year low, last seen in 1975. Total coarse grain consumption is forecast to nearly equal total production.
U.S. corn, China corn, and E.U. barley carryout stocks represent over two-thirds of world coarse grain stocks. With forecast U.S. corn production down only slightly in 1999/2000 and continued sluggish growth in domestic use, stocks are expected to be largely unchanged. Abroad, China is poised to hit a new production record resulting in increasing stocks. The EU is expected to reduce barley stocks and rising import demand abroad may facilitate the EU Commissions supply management program of subsidized barley exports.
Abundant corn supplies from the United States, China, and Argentina, will mean continued strong competition for sales among exporters. Without major weather-impacted production shortfalls exporters will again face world prices depressed by abundant stocks. This spring, monthly average prices on #2 yellow corn FOB Gulf have been $96/MT, less than half the monthly average of the market peak in May 1996 but also below a five-year average (1990-1994) of $103/MT. No significant growth in overall world import demand is forecast, but growth in demand would be required to be much more robust than presently forecast to significantly raise prices with carryout stocks about 40 million tons above world trade.
Moderate import demand growth for corn in markets such as the Middle East and North Africa of 1.0 million tons combined is in contrast to very small growth in Asia (forecast as a region up a scant 300,000 tons) where feed demand in Japan and other nations has stagnated with slow economic growth. One bright spot is South Korea where economic stabilization and lower projected feeding of substitutes feed wheat and rye are forecast to raise corn imports up year to year by 800,000 tons to 7.8 million tons. Slow economic growth continues to plague Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. In Malaysia feed demand growth has been limited by swine slaughter due to continued concern of the transmission of fatal diseases from swine to humans.
Forecast growth of world trade in barley will likely favor the European Union over other exporters. Expected higher import demand will allow the European Union an opportunity in 1999/2000 to reduce stocks by subsidizing barley exports. Projected EU 1999/2000 carryout stocks of barley are 14.3 million tons, over 50 percent of total world stocks of 26.6 million tons and, astoundingly, barely below projected world trade in barley for 1999/2000 of 16.4 million tons. Also contributing to reduced stocks of barley, Australia, Canada, and the United States each are projected to produce smaller crops, with U.S. production down over 15 percent. Production is forecast up in Russia where last years decline in livestock herds and consequently reduced feeding capacity may make barley more readily available for sale to world markets.
U.S. corn exports for 1999/2000 are forecast up slightly at 47 million tons. Projected corn exports for Argentina are unchanged from 1998/99 at 9.0 million tons. China corn exports are set initially at 4.0 millions, which is a 500,000 ton year to year increase from 1998/99 exports estimated at 3.5 million tons (which are reduced this month from 4.0 million tons).
EU barley exports are forecast in 1999/2000 up at 7.5 million tons. Australia barley exports are projected at 2.9 million tons, down for the third consecutive year owing to reduced production. Canada barley exports are forecast up slightly at 1.5 million tons largely based on higher forecast demand in the United States.
Russia is expected to export 1.0 million tons of barley, returning to world markets after last years significant production shortfall. Ukraine is projected to expand barley exports to 750,000 tons.
South Korea corn imports in 1999/2000 are forecast to rise to 7.7 million tons due to increased demand due to growth in the feed sector as the South Korean economy continues to stabilize and the prospects for diminished use of substitutes such as feed wheat and rye.
China 1999/2000 barley imports are forecast to remain high, increasing slightly to 2.1 million tons. China rye imports are forecast higher in 1998/99 and 1999/2000 at 500,000 tons and 650,000 tons, respectively.
Malaysia corn imports are forecast stable at 2.1 million tons, with gains in demand for poultry expected to minimize the impact of lower feed use in swine as a result of herd reductions.
Mexico corn imports are forecast up at 4.8 million tons and sorghum imports are forecast up at 3.0 million tons on projected higher demand for corn and lower production prospects for sorghum.
Saudi Arabia barley imports are forecast up at 5.3 million tons as drier weather has reduced forage available for animals. Saudi corn imports are also forecast up at 1.5 million tons.
Iran barley imports are projected up to 1.0 million tons with forecast 1999/2000 production down sharply due to dry weather. Iran corn imports are expected up slightly at 1.1 million tons.
Higher projected corn production in Chile and Brazil is forecast to reduce imports, while growing demand is forecast to increase imports in Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.
In general, feed demand in North Africa is on the rise, with Morocco barley imports forecast up at 1.1 million tons and Egypt corn imports forecast higher at 3.5 million tons.
Download the coarse grains tables in:
Adobe Acrobat Format
Lotus Spreadsheet Format
Return to Table of Contents