This year’s global harvest will be the biggest ever, the International Grains Council said Thursday, lifting its 2016-17 production forecast for a fifth consecutive month.
Steady upward revisions to global production forecasts mean the worldwide glut of grain is set to swell even more than previously expected. The IGC nudged its forecast for year-end grain stocks up by four million tons to 492 million tons, up from last year’s record of 469 million tons.
The London-based organization lifted its grain production forecast by 23 million metric tons to 2.069 billion tons. That would exceed the previous record, the 2.047 billion-ton crop of 2014-15.
The increased production forecasts were balanced by an upward revision in expected consumption due to higher demand for animal feed.
Corn production is expected to come in at 1.03 billion tons, up from last month’s forecast of 1.017 billion tons, “nearly entirely due to a sustained improvement in crop prospects in the U.S.,” the IGC said.
The IGC lifted its forecast for wheat production from 735 million tons to 743 million tons as an improving harvest outlook in Russia and its Black Sea neighbors was balanced by weather damage in the EU.
Europe’s wheat crop was damaged by floods in France and Germany that harmed the development of crops this spring, then by rain that hampered the German harvest.
The IGC increased its soybean forecast from 321 million tons to 325 million tons, again citing favorable growing conditions in the U.S.
It cut its rice production forecast by three million tons, but output is still expected to hit a new record at 484 million tons.
Total grains consumption is projected to reach 732 million tons this year, compared with last month’s forecast of 727 million tons.