OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook › Cereals - OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2012-2021
|Cereal stock-to-use ratios in the decade to 2021 will remain below historical averages, posing the risk of future price volatility.|
Despite record cereals production in 2011, international prices remained elevated. The bumper crop helped to replenish stocks and moderate prices in the second half of 2011, but a weakening US dollar and low freight rates bolstered export prices in early 2012.
Grain prices were further supported by excessive cold across much of Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the excessive dry conditions that prevailed in the southwest United States and portions of South America. A tight maize supply situation, following last year’s below trend yields in the United States, contributed to the increase in coarse grain prices while deteriorating conditions of the South American soybean crop put additional upward pressure on markets. Early reports revealed the intention of United States farmers to plant 38.8 Mha of maize, a level not seen since 1937, but price movements during planting showed the market bidding for more oilseeds (soybeans) area which could pull plantings down from the initial intentions. Given the low level of maize inventories, markets are expected to remain sensitive to the eventual size and progress of the maize crop in the United States, the world’s largest producer.
Despite significant losses due to floods in the second half of 2011, especially in Thailand, outstanding yields in India and several other major producers lifted world rice production in 2011. Rice prices over the year were very much influenced by the implementation of new polices in Thailand and India.