FAO report: Rice, corn down but wheat posts record harvest in 2015
Harvests for corn, and rice fell in 2015 but wheat production inched up slightly, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in its first Crop Prospects and Food Situation report for 2016.
According to the report dated March 9, 2016, rice production declined by 0.7 percent last year to 491.4 million tons as adverse weather conditions associated with the El Nino episode negatively affected harvests.
Rice prices in February were up as Egypt firmed up its quotations and Thailand and Pakistan raised their quotations. India and Vietnam reported lower prices because of subdued import demand.
“Low import demand put downward pressure on prices in the Americas, with export quotations decreasing in the United States of America, but also in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil,” the report said.
The FAO said wheat production grew by 0.5 percent to a record high of 733 million tons in 2015, with good harvests from the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Wheat is the raw material for flour that is used in breads and pasta.
Export prices of wheat generally declined in February, reflecting slow trade activity while supplies remain large and growing conditions continue to be favorable.
Coarse grains production, which includes maize and barley among others, dropped by 2.7 percent to 1.3 billion tons because of lower maize output from the European Union, Ukraine, and the United States, negating the robust gains in China and Brazil. Coarse grains such as maize also serve as a raw material for animal feeds.
Maize prices were virtually unchanged from January levels as abundant supplies and strong competition among exporters limited price gains. (Eileen A. Mencias)