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FAO forecasts all-time high global cereal production

Thursday, October 1, 2020

FAO lowered its forecast for world cereal production in 2020 by 25 million tons (0.9%) in September compared to the previous forecast in July, according to the latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. Notwithstanding this downturn in prospects, the expected global cereal output still stands at 2,765 million tons, an all-time high and 58 million tons above the 2019 outturn.

Latin America and the Caribbean

In South America, cereal production is forecast to reach a new record high in 2020 underpinned by large maize plantings in Brazil and Argentina, as weak currencies boosted export demand and incentivized farmers. In Central America and the Caribbean, overall favorable weather conditions supported good yields, and cereal production in 2020 is expected at a slightly above-average level.


Widespread floods caused damage in several countries in Far East Asia, but rains across the subregion were also beneficial for paddy production and the output in 2020 is forecast at a record high. In the Near East, reflecting improved security conditions and favorable weather, production upturns were estimated in the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq in 2020. Rainfall shortages generally kept wheat outputs in CIS countries at below-average levels, but barley production increased driven by larger plantings.


Larger harvests are estimated in Southern Africa and East Africa, despite floods and outbreaks of desert locusts. Although pest damages have been largely contained, serious concerns remain in some countries. Adverse weather reduced wheat outputs in North African countries, while cereal production in West Africa is foreseen at a slightly above-average level. Protracted conflicts continue to limit growth in agricultural production in Central Africa.

Download the report here.


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