World cereal stocks will be drawn down again in 2001/02. Although latest indications continue to point to a larger cereal crop in 2001, output would be insufficient to meet global utilization for the third year in succession, leading to a further reduction in cereal stocks by the conclusion of crop seasons ending in 2002.
World cereal output in 2001 is forecast at 1 878 million tonnes, (including rice in milled terms), 1.3 percent above 2000. Output of wheat is forecast at 577 million tonnes, 10 percent below last year, while that of coarse grains is seen to rise by about 4 percent to 905 million tonnes. Production of rice is tentatively forecast at 396 million tonnes (milled basis), marginally down from 2000.
Food emergencies of varying intensity persist for over 60 million people worldwide as a result of natural and man-made disasters.
FAO's first forecast of world cereal trade in 2001/02 is 229 million tonnes, about 4 million tonnes below the estimated volume in 2000/01. Global imports of wheat and coarse grains are forecast to be smaller while rice trade in 2002 is tentatively expected to increase marginally from the current year's level.
International wheat prices made further gains over the past two months, and remain significantly above those in the corresponding period of the previous season. However, coarse grains and rice prices have fallen well below the levels prevailing at the same time last year.
Global cassava production and trade rose moderately in 2000, but prices fell to a new record low. The outlook for 2001 points to a contraction in output, reflecting poor prospects for Africa and Asia. Weak import demand by the EC might also depress the volume of trade and prices.
International prices for oils/fats and oilmeals remain depressed, despite an increase in demand since the beginning of the 2000/01 (October/September) season. The market continues to be dominated by conditions of over-supply. International meat prices have strengthened during the first quarter of 2001, largely in response to a slow-down in output growth and market closures linked to disease outbreaks in several parts of the globe.
International prices for dairy products in the first four months of 2001 were higher than the average for 2000, illustrating generally favourable international demand coupled with limited export availability.
International sugar prices have strengthened in recent months in response to reduced global production prospects coupled with increased import demand.
ENQUIRIES should be directed to Mr. Abdur Rashid, Chief, Global Information and Early Warning Service, Commodities and Trade Division (ESC), FAO - Rome. Direct Facsimile: 39-06-5705-4495; E-mail email@example.com).
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