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press release

12 June 2024

Meeting of the International Grains Council

Members of the International Grains Council (IGC) convened for the 60th IGC Council Session on 10th June 2024. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Anita Katial, Agricultural Counsellor for the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Embassy London.

World grains production was predicted to expand by a further 1% y/y, in 2024/25, to 2,312m t, as larger wheat, barley and sorghum outturns potentially contrast with a reduced maize crop. With consumption seen edging up, end-season stocks were projected to tighten, to a decade low, including a reduction in major exporters. Traded volumes in 2024/25 (Jul/Jun) were predicted to contract by 4% y/y, to 416m t.

Global soyabean output was anticipated to reach a high of 414m t in 2024/25, including heavy outturns in the US, Brazil and Argentina, while an uplift in demand for soya products was set to underpin record processing. Carryovers were seen accumulating further, with much of the increase due to the three majors. Trade (Oct/Sep) was projected to resume an uptrend, expanding by 2% y/y, to a new high. With regard to other oilseeds, another sizeable world rapeseed/canola outturn was expected, with sunflowerseed output potentially little-changed y/y.

World rice production was projected at an all-time peak in 2024/25 (+2%), with increases anticipated in leading exporters, notably in South Asia. Consumption was predicted to advance on population gains, while inventories could rise on accumulation in India. Trade was likely to edge higher in 2025 (Jan/Dec) on bigger shipments to Africa, more than compensating for a pullback in demand from Asian importers, including Indonesia.

Reflecting softer demand for lentils and broad beans, the Council saw global pulses trade in 2024 (Jan/Dec) falling by 5% y/y, to 21.2m t.

Taking account of the current market situation, members reviewed and discussed the latest trade-related policy developments. A particular focus was placed on the temporary removal of tariffs applied to imports of paddy, brown and white rice in Brazil until the end of 2024, in efforts to mitigate the impact of recent heavy rains and flooding in southern Brazil. Furthermore, members were also appraised of recent changes to pulses import policy in India.

Members reviewed the Programme of Work in 2023/24. Markets for grains, oilseeds, rice and pulses faced several challenges, particularly in relation to geopolitics and weather events. In addition, a paucity of data and information on policy for some countries underscored the need for the Secretariat to continue to add value to its monitoring and analytical activities, thereby ensuring members have access to the most up-to-date picture to support policy decisions. The IGC’s core publications comprise the Daily Monitor, the weekly Grain Market Indicators (GMI), the monthly Grain Market Report (GMR) and, more recently (February 2024), the IGC Grains and Oilseeds Maritime Shipping Dashboard.

To complement its regular market intelligence activities, the Council agreed new multi-year projects as part of the 2024/25 work programme including:

• Mapping port connectivity and monitoring port congestion: This project will seek to augment and complement the IGC’s Grains and Oilseeds Maritime Shipments Dashboard;

• Rice market transparency: The Secretariat will explore ways of potentially enhancing transparency in world markets;

• Market volatility: Building on existing in-house calculations of historic volatility, work will be undertaken to develop broader, all-encompassing measures of day-to-day price swings in markets covered by the IGC. This is expected to be done in collaboration with external agencies and academic institutions;

• Trade and food security: It is proposed that exploratory analysis will be undertaken to assess the importance of trade in achieving a resilient global food system in import dependent nations. The Secretariat will look at the viability of developing a suite of trade-related indicators.

The Council appointed Mr. Hamed Oussama Salhi, First Secretary (Agriculture), Embassy of Algeria in London as Chairperson for 2024/25 and Erin Tomkinson, Counsellor, Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry, Australian Mission to the EU, Australian High Commission to the UK was appointed Vice-Chairperson for 2024/25.

The Council welcomed the participation of observers from China, Georgia, Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory, as well as representatives from FAO-AMIS, Eurasian Economic Commission, OECD, MED-Amin, WTO, IGTC and the Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture.

At the Council session members agreed to the IGC signing Memorandum of Understandings with the Korea Rural Community Corporation (KRC) and Indian Chamber of Food and Agriculture to exchange information.

The 33rd IGC Grains Conference, titled “Reshaping the conversation on global trade and food security”, held in London on 11-12 June 2024, hosted the “Second high-level dialogue between producing and importing countries” which discussed the role of global trade in the global food system and measures, policies, and initiatives that could be implemented to enhance the role of trade in food security. Two major topics were addressed as opportunities for the global trade to respond to the global food system: The digitisation of the grains value chain as well as the productivity/ sustainability nexus.

The IGC Grains Conference is an integral part of London Grains Week, a week-long series of events, centred around the vital role of international trade. It provides a unique opportunity for key operators across the entire grains value chain to discuss the latest trade challenges and opportunities.

PR(IGC June 2024)