LONDON, ENGLAND — Boosted by a 2% increase in planted area, global wheat production in 2020-21 is forecast to reach a record of 769 million tonnes, according to the International Grains Council (IGC).

“Preliminary supply and demand projections for wheat in 2020-21 point to an all-time high for production and a further build-up of stocks, but with inventory growth again concentrated in China and India,” the IGC said.

In its monthly report released on Feb. 27, the IGC also increased its 2019-20 global wheat crop forecast by 2 million tonnes, to 763 million.

One of the reasons for the upward revision is a larger projected wheat crop in India, which the IGC said will reach 103.6 million tonnes, up from the previous forecast of 102.2 million last month and up from 99.7 million in 2018-19.

Stemming from upgrades for South American producers, global soybean output in 2019-20 is forecast 3 million tonnes higher month-on-month, at 345 million tonnes, albeit still 5% lower than the previous year on a heavily reduced U.S. harvest.

With consumption seen unchanged from before, stocks were lifted by 3 million tonnes, to 39 million (-28% year-on-year), the IGC said. Most of the increase is due to the major exporters as an upgrade for Brazil compensates for a reduction in the United States, owing to a slightly more optimistic export outlook. Trade is pegged 1 million tonnes higher from the previous month, at 153 million (+1% year-on-year).

“Mainly on a rebound in the U.S., the 2020-21 global soybean area for harvesting is projected to be up 4%, year-on-year,” the IGC said.

The IGC sees world corn harvested area in 2020-21 growing by 1%, year-on-year, mainly on a rebound in the United States.

The IGC increased its forecast for 2019-20 world corn production by 1 million tonnes, to 1.112 billion tonnes, still well below the prior season’s 1.130 billion.

As for rice, the IGC said an improved outlook for India offsets reductions for other Asian producers, including Thailand, leaving global output in 2019-20 steady month-on-month, at 499 million tonnes, just short of the prior year’s peak.

Global rice use is seen little-changed year-on-year, at 495 million tonnes. Together with a slight cut to carry-in stocks, the IGC’s forecast for aggregate inventories is maintained at 177 million tonnes, up from 173 million the previous year. The trade figure is broadly steady month-on-month, at 44.2 million tonnes (42.5 in 2018-19), well below past peaks, the IGC said.

With declines for all the components other than rice, the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) weakened by 3% from the previous month’s forecast.