This week's U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week shows world coarse grain (corn, sorghum, and barley) production and consumption over the past 10 years.
The chart demonstrates that world production continues to grow, albeit with occasional setbacks. Below-trend U.S. production in 2012 reduced world coarse grain supplies and has led to higher prices that tend to reduce consumption.
However, global feed and non-feed use have continued to climb steadily. Coarse grain trade has been up year-over-year six of the last 10 years, rising 20 million metric tons in the past 10 years. U.S. coarse grains exports rose 21 million tons to its latest peak in 2007/2008 and then retreated by 27 million tons to 40 million tons in 2011/2012. In its most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate, USDA expects that number to drop to 26 million tons in the 2012/2013 marketing year, reflecting the impact of the severe 2012 drought.
While the shorter than expected U.S. corn harvest of 2012 will mean high prices and limited U.S. exports in the coming year, the global engines of demand are moving forward. Global markets are ready to grow and purchase more U.S. grains to meet their needs when U.S. yields recover.