World cereal output revised downward
Meat consumption recovering
29 September 2005, Rome - World cereal production in 2005 is forecast at 1 984 million tonnes, slightly down since the previous forecast and 3.4 percent less than 2004's record output, according to the September issue of FAO's Food Outlook.
"With this revision, the shortfall in production compared to the expected utilization in 2005/06 has grown, and a larger drawdown in global cereal stocks is now forecast," the report says.
World cereal utilization is forecast to reach 2 015 million tonnes in 2005/06, up 10 million tonnes from the estimated level in 2004/05, while total cereal food consumption is forecast at 983 million tonnes, up 1.3 percent from 2004/05, with most of the increase expected in developing countries. However, per caput intake remains stable in these countries.
Most of the anticipated decrease in global cereal output in 2005 is in developed countries, mainly reflecting smaller coarse grain crops. In the United States, adverse hot and dry weather for the maize crop was responsible for most of the downward adjustment for coarse grains. Drought also hit crops in parts of the European Union.
In developing countries, production is expected to be up marginally from the good level of 2004, mostly on account of better crops in several Asian countries.
Regarding world cereal trade in 2005/06, the report says it could reach nearly 236 million tonnes, 3 percent down from the 2004/05 volume, mainly reflecting good crops in some of the main importing countries.
The meat industry sector
The meat market has been recovering from the wave of disruption caused by animal disease problems in 2004. Meat production is forecast to grow by 2.5 percent in 2005, with nearly 80 percent of the growth expected in developing countries. Recovering consumption is supporting near record high meat prices.
However, recent new outbreaks of avian influenza extending westwards from Asia into the Russian Federation are raising concerns about potential market disruptions.
Coffee, cocoa and tea
Coffee prices remain well above 2004 levels. "The market is being supported by the prospect of a decline in global production in 2005/06 at the same time as demand is seen to grow and exporting countries' stocks decline, a situation that contrasts with the oversupplied market of the past four years," the report says.
International cocoa and tea prices remained depressed, reflecting surplus on the market and a stagnant consumption.
The FAO Commodities and Trade Division publishes the Food Outlook four times a year as part of the Global Information and Early Warning System.
Information Officer, FAO
(+39) 06 570 53473
e-mail this article