June 16, 2016

16/06/2016: Meeting of the International Grains Council and IGC Grains Conference, London, 13-14 June 2016

Members of the International Grains Council met on 13 June under the Chairmanship of Mr Gaston Funes of Argentina. The Council reviewed the latest supply and demand outlook and market developments for the global grain and oilseed market, recent changes in national policies and various administrative matters. 
The Council’s latest forecasts for 2016/17, as detailed in the most recent Grain Market Report (GMR466, 26 May 2016), point to another year of ample world grain (wheat and coarse grains) supplies. While unfavourable weather has resulted in some crop uncertainties recently, global production was still expected to be the second highest ever. 
Despite strong anticipated demand, a further accumulation of world carryover stocks was seen as probable at the end of the season. Adverse weather led to smaller rice harvests in many Asian producers in 2015/16, but a recovery was anticipated in the coming year as growing conditions improve. Nevertheless, because of continued growth in consumption, rice stocks were projected to tighten again, potentially dropping to a seven-year low. 
Image: The River Club
The Council noted that recent poor weather had downgraded 2015/16 soybean prospects in South America, but world production was still expected to be the second largest on record. Although planting of South America’s next crop is still some months away, a rebound in output in that region could see 2016/17 production match the all-time high of two seasons earlier. 
The Council considered various administrative matters, including an update from the Secretariat on progress with the economic work programme. The Council agreed the programme of work for 2016/17, which would continue to focus on core analytical activities. However, a key development was the initiation of biannual dialogue with IGTC (International Grain Trade Coalition) on major policy issues affecting trade. 
The Council appointed Mr Aly Toure, Permanent Representative of Côte d'Ivoire to International Commodity Organisations, London as Chairman for 2016/17 and Mr Eric Willems, Deputy Head of Unit, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, European Commission, Brussels as Vice-Chairman. 
The Council took note of statements by observers from the FAO, IGTTC, OECD, WFP and WWTO. It also welcomed the participation of observers from China, and Taipei Chinese Separate Customs Territory. 
On 14 June, members of the Council were joined by a large number of representatives from industry and other organisations for the IGCC Grains Conference, on the theme of 'Changing dynamics: the new trading environment.' 

Among the themes discussed were the supply and demand outlook, the impact of external factors on production and trade, recent trade policy developments including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and trade and logistics. 
For the full timetable see the IGC site HERE.   

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