The International Grains Council (IGC) on Thursday raised its forecasts for 2016/17 world wheat and corn crops, with total supply potentially reaching a record level.
The IGC's monthly update increased the forecast for world wheat production by 4 million tonnes to 717 million tonnes, saying that beneficial weather was improving the outlook in both the European Union and Russia.
Global wheat production, however, was still seen below the previous season's 734 million.
"While conditions have not always been ideal, the outlook for 2016/17 grains remains mostly good and, having been upgraded from before, global production (of grains) is projected to slightly exceed the previous year," the IGC said.
Global corn (maize) production in 2016/17 was forecast to rise to 998 million tonnes, up from a previous projection of 993 million and the prior season's 973 million.
"Smaller outturns of wheat, barley and sorghum are expected to be offset by a better maize harvest," the IGC said, forecasting a total grains crop of 2.006 billion tonnes, marginally up from the previous season's 2.005 billion tonnes.
Grains production is forecast to be below the record 2.045 billion tonnes harvested in 2014/15 but total supply could rise to a record level, boosted by a steady build in stocks over the past few seasons.
The IGC raised its forecast for Russia's wheat crop in 2016/17 by 1 million tonnes to 59 million tonnes, though it remained below the previous season's 61 million tonnes.
EU wheat production was also revised upwards, by 1.1 million tonnes to 152.1 million tonnes, but that is still below the 159.3 million harvested in 2015/16.
The IGC said world soybean production in 2016/17 was expected to be little changed at 319 million tonnes versus a downwardly revised 318 million tonnes in the previous season.
"With output projected to be broadly unchanged year on year as consumption rises further, global carryovers could contract by 16 percent to 32 million tonnes, the smallest in three years," the IGC said.
The IGC cut its 2015/16 world soybean production forecast by 5 million tonnes, reflecting the impact of poor weather in South America, notably Argentina.
A third of Argentina's soy farms remain swamped after early April storms.