11.11.2019 |

FAO: Global cereal production to reach record high in 2019

World cereal output is expected to increase in 2019 (Photo: CC0)

World meat production is expected to decrease in 2019 for the first time in more than 20 years, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). According to FAO’s latest Food Outlook, published on Thursday, African Swine Fever outbreaks have decimated pig herds in China. This will lead to a reduction of at least 20% for pigmeat output in the country, which usually accounts for almost half the world’s production. The biannual report assesses market and production trends for a wide array of food commodities, including cereals, fish, sugar, oilcrops and milk. Production of bovine, ovine, poultry and pig meats is forecast to reach 335.2 million tonnes in carcass weight equivalent in 2019, a decrease of 1% compared to the previous year. In the United States, total meat production is expected to increase from 46.9 to 48.1 million tonnes. In the European Union, total meat output is also expected to expand, although slower than predicted earlier. The FAO experts predict that global production of poultry, which accounts for 39% of total meat production, will grow this year, with increases anticipated in Argentina, Brazil, the EU and the US.

World cereal production is forecast to reach a record high of 2,704 million tonnes in 2019/20, up 1.7 from an estimated 2,657 million tonnes in 2018. World cereal stocks are seen at 849.5 million tonnes by the end of the 2019/20 season, down 1.5% from their opening levels. While wheat and maize production is expected to increase in 2019, that for rice is expected to fall below the previous year’s record of 517.5 million tonnes, reaching 513.4 million tonnes in 2019. On the consumption side, per capita food use of all three cereals is forecast to keep pace and even exceed population growth. Global oilseed production, however, is anticipated to contract for the first time in three years, driven mainly by a contraction in soybean plantings and lower yields in the US as well as weaker prospects for rapeseed in Canada and the EU. “As for palm oil, global production could slow, tied to a deceleration in area expansion and modest yield prospects in Indonesia and Malaysia,” the report reads. FAO also expects world sugar production to drop by 2.8% in the year ahead.

FAO also published its monthly Food Price Index which tracks changes in the international prices of commonly traded food commodities. In October, global food prices rose for the first time in five months. The Food Price Index averaged 172.7 points in October, up 1.7% from the previous month and 6% higher than in the same month a year ago. The FAO Cereal Price Index rose by 4.2% during the month, as wheat and maize export prices increase sharply. By contrast, rice prices slipped, driven by lower demand and prospects of an abundant basmati harvest. (ab)

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