Members of the International Grains Council (IGC) convened for the 54th Council Session on 21 January 2022 via video conference, from London, UK. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister for Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, Trade Representative of Ukraine.
The Secretariat presented its latest supply and demand forecasts and market developments for grains, rice, oilseeds and pulses in 2021/22.
Despite difficult cropping weather in some regions, total grains production was forecast to reach an all-time high in 2021/22, up 71m t y/y, at 2,286m, including records for maize and wheat. Global consumption was also seen at a new peak, including gains in feed, food and industrial use, with stocks forecast to dip for a fifth consecutive year. Despite an uptick in wheat and sorghum shipments, a drop in maize, barley and oats trade was likely to limit total volumes to 423m t (-1% y/y). The Council's initial projections for 2022/23 wheat supply and demand pointed to a fourth successive increase in production, to a new peak. With consumption also seen at a fresh high, stocks were predicted little changed y/y, including below-average exporters’ inventories. World trade was forecast to retreat from the current season's record.
With a bigger US harvest compensating for smaller southern hemisphere crops, 2021/22 world soyabean production was seen a fraction higher y/y, at 368m t. Amid further gains in Asia and the three majors, global uptake was predicted at a fresh peak, with increased demand partly linked to tight supplies of alternatives. Stocks were predicted to fall by 6% y/y, including a reduction in exporters' reserves. Underpinned by Asian demand, trade was forecast to expand by 4% y/y.
Global rice output in 2021/22 was forecast at 511m t, marginally higher y/y and a new peak on bigger harvests in Asian producers. Tied to population-driven gains in food use, consumption was predicted at a peak, while inventories were seen at a high, including accumulation in key exporters. After the prior year’s solid y/y rise to a record, trade was expected to edge lower in 2022.
World pulses trade was seen contracting for a second successive year in 2022 (Jan/Dec), by 2%, to 16m t, on smaller shipments of dry peas and chickpeas – principally to destinations in Asia. Despite a 5% y/y fall in dispatches, Canada would remain by far the biggest supplier of pulses to the global market. The Secretariat also updated members on its forecasts for chickpeas supply and demand, which were formally published for the first time in the January Grain Market Report.
The Secretariat updated members on developments with regard to its ongoing work programme. This included the construction of supply and demand balances for grains-based ethanol, the expansion of its freight market model, the revamping of its suite of daily reports, as well as work in setting up a pulses fob price matrix, intended for completion by June 2022.
Regarding administrative issues, members agreed to the IGC signing two Memorandum of Understandings with the Institute for the Development of Agricultural Cooperation in Asia (IDACA) and Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM).
The Council received statements from the WTO and IGTC on recent developments. The Council welcomed the participation of the following observers and participants: China, Mexico, Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory CFC, FAO, OECD, WTO, GEOGLAM, IDACA and IGTC.
The Secretariat also provided a debrief on the previous day’s Grains Forum co-organised with Ukraine, titled “Grains sector resilience: Contingency plan to anticipate shocks” which explored the state of contingency plans in the grains, oilseeds and rice sectors, including how those plans could be articulated and their potential impact on global trade.