“IGC is the only international organisation producing information on processed products, including wheat flour trade. The role of IGC is also to examine new markets to provide more trade transparency. IGC is a unique platform to allow discussion between the public and the private sectors too. The annual IGC Grains Conference in London will take place on the 11th and 12th June 2019. Major trading companies and other relevant players in the grains sector value chain will take the floor to share their expectations and looking beyond the uncertainties.”
The International Grains Council (IGC)
The International Grains Council (IGC) is an intergovernmental organisation, comprising 56 countries. It is widely recognised for providing accurate, unbiased market data for 16 commodities including wheat, maize, oilseeds and rice.
IGC recently published its first supply and demand projections for 2019/20. For wheat, owing to a larger area and better overall yields, production is projected to rebound by 3%, to 759 mt, and trade is forecast to rise by 2%, at 174 mt. Some recovery in world wheat stocks is anticipated, although those in the major exporters could remain stable. For barley, a 5% upturn in world production is expected, to 149 mt, including 7.4m in Turkey. Barley trade is seen edging down again in 2019/20, to 27 mt, on reduced shipments to China. Maize production is forecast to rise by 1%, to 1124 mt, while the first contraction in trade for 11 years is foreseen owing to potentially reduced needs in the EU. Soybean production is seen stable as a possible gain in South America could be offset by smaller US output. World trade could go up to 154 m t, although there is still uncertainty surrounding China’s future needs.
IGC is the only international organisation producing information on processed products, including wheat flour trade. Based on trade data for the first half of the season, the IGC forecast for world trade in wheat flour in 2018/19 (Jul/Jun, grain equivalent) is for a 4% fall y/y, to 16.1m t, including reduced shipments to a number of markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the CIS. However, purchases by the two biggest wheat flour buyers, Afghanistan and Iraq, are set to be similar to the year before, at 2.9m t and 2.8m, respectively. Turkey is expected to maintain its place as the single largest flour exporter, with shipments of 5.0m t accounting for around one-third of all trade. This information is regularly updated in the IGC’s monthly Grain Market Report (GMR) which is available on subscription (see http://www.igc.int/en/subscriptions/subscription.aspx)
The role of IGC is also to examine new markets to provide more trade transparency. IGC has also started to study the world pulses market. The outlook for total world pulses trade in 2018 (Jan/Dec) is at 14.9m t, about 15% smaller y/y mainly because of lower purchases by India. Among the major exporters, sales by Australia are expected to more than halve y/y due to smaller shipments to India, with Bangladesh likely to be the main export destination. Canada’s exports are placed 1% lower y/y, at 5.3m t, while those by Myanmar are little-changed, at 1.4m. At 1.4m t, shipments by Russia are projected to climb by 11%, boosted by strong sales to the EU.
Furthermore the Secretariat has developed a daily monitoring tool on the total cost of trade (C&F price) for 200 routes representing more than 97% of the heavy grains shipped. Traders are also able to access a new index, the GOFI comprising 6 sub-indices showing freight market trends.
IGC is also a unique platform to allow discussion between the public and the private sectors. The annual IGC Grains Conference in London will take place on the 11th and 12th June 2019. Major trading companies and other relevant players in the grains sector value chain will take the floor to share their expectations and looking beyond the uncertainties. Strong food demand is supported by demographic trends in Asia and Africa. Based on the IGC’s latest 5-year baseline forecasts, the wheat market balance will be maintained if producers are able to increase their productivity and keep the nutritional value of their grains. The situation is expected to be more sensitive for the maize market as the stocks use/ratio of world stocks and for the major exporters is expected to decrease. Any relevant climatic event could significantly affect the maize market balance.
Speakers will also address the issue of sustainability along the value chain from the farmers’ perspective. For example, soybean market prospects for 2023/24 are comfortable as long as there is an expanded acreage.
This year there will be a special focus on Africa to address the challenges and opportunities in developing grain trading activities in the region. Another session is dedicated to risk management and will explore the tools available to mitigate financial trading risks with expert presentations from futures to block-chain solutions.
The second day will focus on themed workshops by commodity, including wheat products, biodiesel feedstock and rice market volatility. The International Grains Traders Coalition (IGTC), an important IGC partner, will make a strong case for international progress through cooperation.
We are proud this year to welcome a high-level representation from the Turkish grains sector with the contribution of Mr. Maras, Head of Trade Department of the Turkish Grain Board and Mr. Ulusoy, Chairman of the Turkish Flour industry.
We will be delighted to welcome you all to the conference on 11-12 June 2019 to participate in two thought-provoking days of presentations, dialogue and networking.
We also suggest you to read our previous article titled "Training the global grain leaders".