World grains supplies are tightening, according to a January 2011 market review from the International Grains Council, with production in 2010/11 expected to decline by 3.8% to 1.73 billion metric tons while consumption rises by 1.4% to 1.79 billion metric tons.

According to the report, 678 million metric tons of wheat was produced in 2009/10, compared to 813 million metric tons of maize. Estimates for wheat in 2010/11 include that production will work out at 647 million metric tons and consumption at 661 million metric tons. For maize, an output of 809 million metric tons is estimated as consumption grows to 842 million metric tons.

The outlook for northern hemisphere grains crops in 2011/12 appears generally favorable at this early stage, said the IGC, although much will depend on the extent to which growers expand plantings of spring crops, especially maize and barley. After last year’s sharp drop, the global wheat area is projected to rise by about 3%. Assuming average yields, wheat production globally is forecast to rise to 670 million metric tons.