|food outlook||No.1, April 2005|
|global information and early warning system on food and agriculture(GIEWS)|
Another good world cereal crop is forecast in 2005, although lower than the exceptional harvest in 2004.
Dry weather in several Asian countries since late last year has negatively impacted the 2004 secondary paddy crop season, which is nearing its conclusion. Nevertheless, the 2004 aggregate rice production is still estimated to be the second highest on record.
World cereal stocks at the end of crop seasons ending in 2005 are expected to be almost 10 percent higher than their opening levels.
International prices of rice have increased following concerns about the secondary paddy season. By contrast, prices for wheat and coarse grains remain below last year reflecting large availabilities in the major exporting countries, generally favourable prospects for the 2005 crops and relatively slack demand.
The forecast for global cereal trade in 2004/05 has been revised up since the previous report, mainly on account of higher wheat imports.
Meat trade in 2005 is expected to recover from the exceptional decline in 2004 but market uncertainties persist, mainly over food safety concerns.
World banana and sugar prices recovered in 2004, mainly reflecting sustained import demand.