According to the International Grains Council (IGC), the global production of grains could reach 2.22 billion tonnes, i.e. a slight rise of 2% compared with last year. The production of maize should reach 1.16 billion tonnes vs. 1.12 billion tonnes a year earlier. The rice harvest should reach 509 million tonnes and 768 million tonnes for wheat with a huge increase in stocks. While it is clear that global stocks of grains are adequate, experts are however saying that trade flows are being limited by the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdowns imposed in many countries and concerns about the evolution of the viral disease are weighing on the availability of many agricultural raw materials. Taking the example of rice, Vietnam, the world’s third biggest exporter, has already limited its exports due to fears of a drop in the domestic offering. If this restriction were to be prolonged, it would result in a 10 to 15% reduction in global supplies. If China and India – which together have 85% of global stocks – were to block exports, Africa’s supplies would be in trouble.
Source: Ecofin Agency