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Members of the International Grains Council (IGC) convened for the 53rd IGC Council Session on 7th June 2021. The meeting was chaired by Ms. Corinne Roux, Policy Advisor, Trade Relations Unit, Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland.

Including records for wheat and maize, world total grains production in 2021/22 was projected to expand by 72m, to a peak of 2,292m. However, with consumption also at a new high, a fifth successive annual drawdown of grains stocks was envisaged, mostly on a further decline for maize.

While China's imports of grains were seen remaining elevated, they may not match the record of the season before, contributing to the first drop in world grains trade in three years. With high prices expected to encourage larger sowings, world output of soyabeans in 2021/22 was projected to expand by six percent, to a fresh peak, but although global carryovers could stage a modest recovery, availabilities in key exporters were seen staying tight. Reflecting bigger crops in India and China, world rice output in 2021/22 was predicted to climb by two percent, to a record. Global stocks of rice were projected to resume an upward trend, while sizeable shipments to sub-Saharan Africa were expected to keep trade volumes high.

The Council considered recent changes in national policies, as well as activities of other international organisations, including the WTO and UNCTAD's work relating to the grains trade.

At the Session the Council agreed to extend the Grains Trade Convention, 1995, by a further two years to June 30 2023.

The Council also agreed that provided that there was no objection from a member by 31st October 2021, pulses (lentils, dry peas, chickpeas, dry beans, other pulses and their products) would be included in the definition of 'grain' or 'grains' under Article 2(1)(e) of the Grains Trade Convention, with effect from November 1st 2021.

The Council also agreed that the programme of work for 2021//22 would continue to concentrate on its core economic and statistical activities.

The Secretariat updated the Council on its ongoing projects, which include:

  • Revamping daily reports and switching to a web-based format, integrating the new non-tariff measure database to allow for increased functionality for users.
  • Developing an API system to facilitate the transfer of data from IGC's database to members
  • Modelling to forecast ethanol production
  • Organising webinars every two months, including on the role of trade in the global food system, climate change mitigation measures and the regional grains balance sheet and the outlook for the barley sector
  • Monitoring the impact of new requirements addressing GHG emissions in the dry bulk freight sector, based on IMO's decision.

The Council appointed Mr. Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture, Trade Representative of Ukraine as IGC's Chairperson for 2021/22. Mr. James M. Kiiru, Minister, Kenya High Commission, London was appointed as Vice Chairperson for 2021/22.

At the Council session members agreed to the IGC signing Memorandum of Understandings with AfricaRice and AHDB to exchange information.

The Council welcomed the participation of observers from Brazil, China, Mexico, Taipei (Chinese) Separate Customs Territory, AfricaRice, AHDB, FAO, IGTC,UNCTAD and WTO.

For more information about the IGC visit their website, HERE.

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