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IGC lowers 2011-12 global wheat output estimate to 667 mn tonne

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The International Grains Council (IGC) has lowered its global wheat production forecast for 2011-12 to 667 million tonne as crop prospects in countries like the US are not bright due to unfavourable weather.

Earlier, in April, the London-based organisation had pegged global wheat output at 672 million tonne this year. The wheat production forecast for the current year is still higher than the 649 million tonne output last year.

"The outlook for 2011-12 wheat crops has been affected by unfavourable weather in a number of countries, especially in the EU and US, and the forecast of global production is therefore reduced by 5 million tonne to 667 million tonne," the IGC said in its latest Grains Report.

Global wheat demand is expected to touch a new record of 669 million tonne this year, it said.

"Use (of wheat) for ethanol is growing less quickly than expected, including in the EU, while greater use of alternative feeds, including barley, is expected to cut the feeding of wheat in Russia," the report said.

Global wheat trade is still forecast to expand by five million tonne, mainly in North Africa, Near East Asia and the EU, it noted.

India, the world's second-biggest producer of wheat, is expected to harvest a record 84.27 million tonne of wheat this year, according to government data. China, with more than 100 million tonne of output, is the largest wheat producing country in the world.

With respect to global maize production, the global body said that increased planting and higher yields are expected to result in a record output of 848 million tonne in 2011-12, as against 812 million tonne last year.

Larger crops in some countries, including the EU and Indonesia, are expected to limit global maize trade to 92.5 million tonne, down by 1.5% from the previous year, it said.

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First Published: Fri, June 10 2011. 13:45 IST