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Food, Feed, and Industrial Demand Boost Grain Usage to a Record High

World consumption of grain will exceed 2.1 billion tonnes during 2017/2018, a record due to “new peaks for food, feed, and industrial uses,” according to estimates by the London-based International Grains Council. “Food demand is expected to continue to drive increases for wheat, while growth for feed and industrial use will push maize (corn) utilization to a new high.”

In its monthly Grain Market Report, the IGC said the 2017/2018 grain harvest, estimated for 2.079 billion tonnes, would be the second largest ever, trailing only the 2.134 billion tonnes of 2016/2017. “Amid lower supplies and strong demand, stocks are projected to fall for the first time in five years,” it said, forecasting a carryover of 496 million tonnes at the end of 2017/2018, down 5% from the record 523 million tonnes on hand at the start of the trading year.

China, the world’s largest soybean importer, will buy nearly 100 million tonnes of the oilseed during this trade year, said the IGC. At that rate, if would account for two thirds of world soybean trade of 153 million tonnes, a record, and up 4% from 2016/2017. Like grains, the world soybean harvest would be the second largest on record.

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