IGC Increases 08/09 World Wheat Crop Estimate 4MMT

According to the International Grains Council (IGC), world wheat production prospects have improved during the last month and a record crop of 662 million tonnes is now forecast for 2008/09.

The projection is 4 million tonnes up from an estimate issued last month and 54 million or nearly 9 percent up from last year when drought devastated crops in several regions, the IGC said in a monthly report.

"The outlook improved in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, the U.S., Brazil, India and Australia but worsened in Argentina and in Near East Asia," the report said. World maize production in 2008/09 was projected at 759 million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 756 million but still well below the prior season's 785 million.

"Rains benefitted (wheat) crops in key producing areas but delayed harvesting and put quality at risk in parts of the EU, Ukraine and the U.S.," the IGC said.