In the latest Cereals Supply and Demand Brief, FAO forecasts point to larger volumes of world trade and a sharp decline in global cereal stocks.
Globally, cereal utilization in 2020/21 is now forecast at 2,761 million tons, up 52 million tons from the previous season. Leading the increase is the robust use of coarse grains for feed in China.
Global cereal stocks are forecast to decline by 2.2% to 801 million tons, their lowest level in five years. That would bring the world stocks-to-use ratio of cereals down to 28.3%, a seven-year low. The new figures reflect a massive downward adjustment to maize inventories in China.
World cereal trade in 2020/21 is now forecast at 465.2 million tons, a hefty 5.7% expansion from the previous season's record high. The raised estimates reflect large purchases of maize by China, particularly from the U.S.
The new FAO forecasts incorporate the results of a review - back to 2013/14 - of the maize supply-and-demand sheet for China. The country's unexpectedly large purchases of maize in recent weeks point to a much higher demand for feed and lower domestic supplies than earlier anticipated, which is likely linked to the swift recovery in pork production after the African swine fever outbreak.