A welcome increase in the global maize output estimate, in light of prolonged dry weather in maize-producing South America, was announced in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest report, out yesterday (12 January).

The estimate has been raised by 0.5 million tonnes (Mt), compared to December’s figure, and now stands at 868Mt (2010/11: 827Mt). The figure for global demand was estimated at 865Mt.

The report said world production was mostly unchanged, with larger production in the USA, Ukraine, the EU and Russia largely offsetting the lower crops prospects in Argentina.

For wheat, estimates for global production and consumption estimates were also raised slightly. Production was seen at 691.5Mt (2010/11: 651.7Mt), while demand stood at 677.3Mt (2010/11: 652.0Mt).