cereal corn field

Cereal production is set to jump 8% this year, following 2012’s drought-affected crop

World cereal production forecasts have been revised down in the wake of doubts over the South American wheat harvest, but remain 8% higher than 2012.

A total cereal tonnage of 2,489 million will be produced across the globe in 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicted today.

The current estimate is marginally lower, by three million tonnes, than the UNFAO’s estimate last month, “largely reflecting poorer prospects for the South America wheat crop, following adverse weather”, it said.

Despite the revision, an anticipated 11% increase in coarse grains output, to about 1,288 million tonnes, will mean total cereal production is still 8% higher than last year’s total cereal production.

“The United States, the world’s largest maize producer, would account for the bulk of the increase [in coarse grains output], as it is expected to harvest a record maize crop of 348 million tonnes, 27% higher than the previous year’s drought-reduced level.”

The latest position on cereals comes as the UNFAO reports that its Food Price Index dropped for the fifth month in a row in September, driven by a sharp fall in cereal prices. Dairy, oils, meat and sugar prices rose slightly.

The index averaged 199.1 points last month, 2.3 points or 1% below its August value. It is down 11 points, or 5.4% since the beginning of this year.