Business Standard (India)
Press Trust of India / New Delhi
June 26, 2009
www.business-standard.com

Poor rainfall and adverse weather conditions in a few countries in Europe and the US are likely to dent global foodgrains production in 2009-10 by 3.70 per cent to 1,715 million tonnes from last year, according to UK-based International Grains Council (IGC).

The UK body’s forecast comes after the UN agency World Meteorological Organisation warned that there is more than 50 per cent chance of El Nino happening this year.

El Nino is caused by an abnormal warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean and its impact would cause droughts and floods.

According to the IGC forecast, global foodgrain production is expected to be 1,715 million tonnes in 2009-10, compared with 1,781 million tonnes in the year-ago period.

Insufficient rain in the European Union and Argentina, and wet weather conditions in North America have reduced crop output. The growth of wheat in parts of Western Canada and northern US continued to lag under cool and wet conditions, it said.

Poor weather during the maize planting season has reduced sowing in the US, it said, adding that severe drought in Hungary and Romania earlier in the season has also reflected in reduced crop estimates.

Meanwhile in India, the lower than normal monsoon forecast by the weather department is expected to have impact on sowing during the Kharif season, this year.

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