Meeting of the International Grains Council and IGC Grains Conference, London, 7-8 June 2012
London, United Kingdom
June 13, 2012
Members of the International Grains Council (IGC) met on 8 June under the Chairmanship of Mr Vladimir Tkachenko (Russian Federation). The Council reviewed the global supply and demand outlook for grains, rice and oilseeds for 2012/13 (see www.igc.int), noting that, while outcomes remained uncertain in several key producing countries, total availabilities were likely to expand. A smaller world wheat crop was expected to be offset by a sharp rise in the maize (corn) harvest, while rice production was seen reaching a new record, oosted by anticipated increases in China and India. For soyabeans, currently tight global supplies were expected to stimulate plantings in the Southern Hemisphere and output could increase sharply.
IGC’s Grains and Oilseeds Index (GOI) reflected expectations for well-supplied wheat and maize markets, with those components of the index as much as one-quarter lower year-onyear. However, the sub-indices for rice and oilseeds were being supported at a higher level by tight availabilities in key exporters. In addition to fundamental factors, prices continued to be influenced by global financial market developments, especially concerns about the eurozone, as well as fluctuations in other commodities, such as crude oil. Nevertheless, day-to-day price volatility had generally eased in the past year.
The Council considered various administrative matters, including an update from the Secretariat on progress with its economic work programme. This had continued to be
focused on core analytical and statistical activities in the past year. The Council’s website had been further developed, in particular to include a greater range of market information,
such as the GOI, on the public area. It was agreed that the programme of work for 2012/13 would continue to concentrate on maintaining comprehensive statistics, including on
international trade and market prices, and compiling regular estimates and forecasts of supply and demand for grains, rice and oilseeds.
Following an update from the Chairman of the Convention Working Group (Mr Kilian Greter, Switzerland), which had been tasked at the 33rd Council Session on 6 June 2011 to review the Grains Trade Convention, 1995 (GTC), members of the Council decided that oilseeds and their products would be included in the definition of grains under the GTC with effect from 1 July 2013 (when the Convention is next due to be extended). In the interim, the Council adopted a resolution to provide information on rapeseed/canola, soyabeans and
sunflowerseed and their products with immediate effect. The Council decided that a new Administrative Committee should be established to take over the major functions of the
Executive Committee from 1 July 2012.
The Council appointed Mr Seung-Cheol Lim, First Secretary, Deputy Head of the Economic Section, Embassy of the Republic of Korea, London, as Chairman for 2012/13. The Council took note of statements by observers from the OECD and WTO. It also welcomed the participation of observers from several non-member countries (Bolivia, Brazil,
Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory, Tanzania and Vietnam).
The Council received a report on the previous day’s (7 June) IGC Grains Conference, which had the theme of “World trade: what prospects for growth?” The Conference was opened by Dr Joseph W. Glauber, Chief Economist, US Department of Agriculture, who spoke about the outlook for Grains and Oilseeds. Other key note speakers included: Mr Bingzhou Cheng, Director General, Department of General Affairs, China Grain Reserves Corporation (Sinograin); Mr Nilambuj Sharan, Director in the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India; Mr Waleed A. Elkhereiji, Director General, Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation (GSFMO), Saudi Arabia; and Dr Khairullah Hasan Babakr, Minister of Trade, Iraq. Other speakers1 from Canada, the UK, Belgium, Italy, Nigeria and Australia, covered a wide-range of the latest grains markets developments, including the changes to marketing arrangements in Australia and Canada. The Conference also featured two workshops, one organised by the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA), which explored progress in facilitating international grain trade with International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) members, while the other discussed efforts to improve market transparency in the Black Sea region.
For Conference programme see: http://www.igc.int/en/conference/confprog.aspx
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Published: June 13, 2012