The sharp rise in international grain prices in 1995/96 contributed to a
downturn in global cereal utilization for the first time since 1988/89 to
1791 million tons, although the contraction of 8 million tons was small.
A considerable reduction in feed use in the developed countries more than
offset the continued growth in demand for food and feed use among the developing
countries. While the utilization of coarse grains, mostly used for feed in
the developed countries, declined substantially,
wheat and rice consumption showed small increases over the previous year.
The current estimate of the 1995/96 food consumption of cereals is
920 million tons, accounting for one-half of total world utilization, an
increase of 1.9 percent, or 17 million tons from the previous year. While
most of the increase in food consumption was among developing countries,
food use in the developed countries is also estimated to
have risen modestly compared to the previous season. Globally, per caput
food consumption in 1995/96 remained virtually unchanged at about 161 kilos
WORLD CEREAL UTILIZATION
||(. . . . . . million tons . . . . . .)|
|World||1 799||1 791||1 827|
|Developing countries||1 047||1 079||1 097|
|Food consumption 1/||
|Other uses 2/||
Note: Total computed from unrounded data.
1/ For direct human consumption.
2/ Other uses include seed, industrial uses and post harvest losses.
Aggregate food consumption of cereals in the developing countries is estimated
to have reached 754 million tons in 1995/96, almost 2 percent above the previous
year. This rise is matched to that of population growth, and as result, average
per caput food consumption of cereals in these countries was unchanged at
171 kilos. Likewise, at 174 kilos, the Low-Income Food Deficit Countries
as a group are also estimated to have maintained their annual per caput food
consumption of cereals. However, it declined in a numbers of these countries,
particularly in Africa, while bumper crops in many parts of Asia in 1995
contributed to a slight increase in this region.
WORLD CEREAL UTILIZATION BY GRAIN
||( . . . . . millions tons . . . . . )|
|Other uses 1/||67||72||71|
|Other uses 1/||149||150||154|
|Other uses 1/||34||36||35|
Note: Total computed from unrounded data.
1/ Other uses include seed, industrial uses and post harvest losses.
Total cereal food consumption in the developed countries is estimated to have increased slightly to 166 million tons in 1995/96, which was sufficient to maintain per caput consumption at 129 kilos. Small increases in food use are estimated for Europe and North America while cereal food consumption continued to decline in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Global feed use of cereals in 1995/96 is estimated to have dropped
by 32 million tons, or 5 percent, to 614 million tons from the previous year.
High international prices have been largely responsible for a sharp reduction
in the feed demand for cereal in the developed countries. In the United States,
the feed use of grains fell by 18 percent in 1995/96, despite a larger number
of livestock, as producers found alternative feed, such as longer grazing
periods, to substitute for relatively more expensive grains. In the CIS,
the continuing structural change in the livestock sector, rather than high
cereal prices, was the main reason for the further decline in feed use of
cereals. By comparison, grain feeding increased slightly among the EC-12
countries compared to 1994/95, partly as a result of reduced availabilities
of cassava, which is used as a feed substitute for grains, as well as
restrictions on grain exports which helped to stabilize domestic grain prices.
PER CAPUT FOOD CONSUMPTION OF CEREALS
||(. . . . . kg. per head . . . . .)|
|(exclud. China and India)||(150.3)||(151.4)||(151.5)|
Feed use of cereals in the developing countries, which accounts for about
one fifth of their total cereal use, is estimated to have risen by about
4 percent to 207 million tons in 1995/96. Most of the expansion occurred
in Asia, primarily China, where a bumper maize crop combined with larger
imports and a ban on maize exports contributed to meeting the strong demand
from the expanding livestock sector.
As regards other uses of cereals (mainly seed, industrial uses and
losses) they are estimated to have risen by 9 million tons to 258 million
tons in 1995/96. Post-harvest losses are assumed to be largely responsible
for this development, especially in Asia where several countries produced
Preliminary indications for 1996/97 are for world cereal utilization to recover
by 2 percent, or 36 million tons, to 1827 million tons, still leaving total
utilization slightly below the long-term trend. While this first forecast
points to only a modest expansion in food consumption of cereals, feed use
is expected to recover significantly, because of lower grain prices compared
to last season. Continued strong demand for livestock products in the fast
growing economies of Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean is also expected
to contribute to expanding global feed use, in particular of coarse grains.
Globally, food consumption of cereals is forecast to increase by 1.4
percent, or 13 million tons, to reach a total of 933 million tons in 1996/97,
roughly on trend, and world per caput food consumption is anticipated to
remain unchanged at 161 kilos. The bulk of the increase in total cereal food
consumption is expected among developing countries mainly due to good harvests
in many parts of Asia and a recovery of output in Africa. In the developed
countries food use of cereals is forecast to rise only slightly.
By far the most significant change in global cereal utilization in 1996/97
is expected for feed use which is forecast to rise by 3.1 percent,
or 19 million tons, to 633 million tons, about the average level for the
last five years but slightly below trend. A return to more normal levels
of feeding in the developed countries, with some exceptions, is likely to
be largely responsible for the recovery, mostly reflecting lower international
grain prices. Feed use among these countries is forecast to rise by 12 million
tons from the previous year. In the United States, feed use of grains is
expected to increase by about 12 percent in 1996/97 to 156 million tons,
about the average level of the first half of the 1990s, but below the record
of 1994/95. The feeding of grains in the EC could also expand this year following
a substantial increase in production this season. The effect of the BSE crisis
(see Box on page 30) on the demand for grains in the EC in 1996/97 is uncertain,
but there is a potential impact. As meat production shifts away from beef
to other types of meat, such as pork and poultry, the use of grains could
increase as feed rations for these animals use a higher percentage of grains
than those for cattle. Offsetting this effect, however, would be the fact
that pork and poultry are more efficient converters of grain to meat, thus
requiring less grain per unit of output. In contrast to the expansion expected
in the EC and the United States, feed use is forecast to decline in a number
of countries in the CIS and eastern Europe due to continuing structural changes,
especially in the CIS, and to reduced animal numbers and shortages of feed
supplies following heavy slaughter last season.
Cereal feed use in the developing countries is anticipated to continue its
upward trend in 1996/97, rising by 3 percent, or 6 million tons, to 213 million
tons. While more feeding, especially of coarse grains, is expected in countries
with fast growing economies in the Far East, the aggregate increase for Asia
is likely to be lower this year due to a possible drop in feed use in Saudi
Arabia where much improved pasture conditions are expected to reduce the
feeding of barley to camels and sheep. Greater feed use is also forecast
for North Africa and South America mainly due to a combination of lower prices
and larger domestic supplies.