THERE IS nothing static over time about the quantity of wheat consumed in the world. Every year in the past decade more wheat has been consumed as more people turn to eating wheat-flour based products and feeding more animals.
Production variability is part of the system and is buffered by the ability of stocks to fill and draw as needed.
By most measures of the industry globally, wheat usage, trade and production will break records in 2019/20, according to analysis published by International Grains Council (IGC) this week.
Key figures include:
- wheat production at a record 769 million tonnes (Mt);
- wheat consumption at a record 756Mt, and a 2 per cent increase in volume traded; and,
- wheat stocks at a record 275Mt.
Production and yields: amid predicted excellent yields global output is projected to rise by 5pc year-on-year, to a record high, 769Mt.
Global consumption is projected to grow 2pc year-on-year to 756Mt.
The growth reflects gains in food, feed and industrial uses of wheat as some animal-feed demand switches away from maize.
Carryover stocks at the end of 2019/20 are projected to grow to an all-time peak of 275Mt, which includes a higher aggregate inventory held by major exporters.
The ratio of stock to use is also projected to rise.
Trade is projected to grow 2pc year on year to 174Mt, with Russia set to be the world’s largest exporter for the third consecutive year.
World record trade occurred in 2016/17 at almost 177Mt.
Yield lifting targets
A key driver of increased production is yield. The chart (above right) captures not only the strong wheat yield outlook this year, but also the step increases over six decades as a dividend of better farming practices and varietal improvement. (Click on any of the images to expand your view.)