Byline: Mark McAndrew
PROPERTYEXPERT Despite forecasts that the 2011/12 global grain harvest will be the largest ever, global consumption is forecast to exceed production by 14 million tonnes. This means that the world will need to keep producing record harvests to keep up with demand.
After harvest 2012 it is predicted that the world stocks of "coarse grains" which include wheat, will be 342 million tonnes, down 13 per cent from 2010. This represents just two months' supply. Maize stocks in the USA, the world's largest exporter, are at their lowest level for 30 years.
Global grain consumption has risen by more than 20 per cent since 2003 and shows no sign of slowing - indeed world population is set to increase by more than 25 per cent by 2050.
As the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, -ban so their diets change and they consume more meat, milk, & eggs, which are more intensive to produce than grain. If the population of China (1.3bn) consumes just 1kg more beef per person next year this would absorb the equivalent of more than the entire UK output.
Climate change is a reality and as the world becomes warmer there is likely to be greater crop disease causing …