Global cereal output in 2002 is estimated at 1
838 million tonnes, slightly up from the
forecast in December, but still 3.3 percent down
from the previous year. However, given the expected
expansion in cereal utilization in 2002/03, world
cereal stocks for crop years ending in 2003 could
plunge to their lowest level since the early 1970s.
Prospects for 2003 cereal production are
mixed. Early indications for the 2003 wheat
crops point to a likely increase in global output.
The first 2003 coarse grain crops are already
planted, and the paddy season is well advanced in
many southern hemisphere countries.
Niño persists, adding uncertainty to the
outcome of the 2003 cereal harvests.
the latest indications, 36 countries in the
world are experiencing severe food shortages and
require international food assistance.
forecast for world cereal trade in 2002/03 has been
raised to 240 million tonnes, but still remains
3 million tonnes below the previous year's
level. The bulk of the decline is on account of
smaller wheat trade, while that of coarse grains is
forecast to increase marginally. For rice, early
indication for trade in 2003 points to a small
decline from the high level in 2002.
International prices for most cereals have weakened
further since November, as non-traditional
exporters continued to shift more of their domestic
surpluses onto the world market.
fish production in 2001 is estimated at 129.3
million tonnes, slightly below the previous
year's level. Total world trade in fish and
fishery products (in export value) is estimated to
remain virtually unchanged in 2001, after a strong
expansion in the previous year.