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Global demand for coarse grains strong, biotech rising

Global demand for coarse grains remains strong, in spite of high prices, according to the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.  In addition, international acceptance of genetically modified crops is also strong and on the rise.


March 14, 2008
By United States Grains Council

March 13, 2008

The global demand for coarse grains continues to be strong despite high prices, according to the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, released March 11. Forecasts predict a stronger production by 4.3 million tons this month. Global corn supply is slightly higher with a 3.9 million ton increase due to rising production estimates in Brazil, India and the Philippines.

US barley exports are down 5 million bushels due to a slower pace of trade, while corn and sorghum exports remained unchanged at 2.45 billion bushels and 285 million bushels respectively.


At the same time, biotechnology is gaining global acceptance as more countries start planting biotech crops each year.

According to a recently published report, 23 countries planted biotech crops on 282.4 million acres of land in 2007. Consequently, the global area for biotechnology soared with a sustained growth rate of 12 percent (30 million acres).


Two new countries adopted biotechnology practices in 2007: Chile, which produced acres for seed export, and Poland, which grew Bt maize for the first time. The report predicts a promising future for biotechnology with the number of biotech crop countries and acreage expected to double between 2006-2015.

The report was published by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit organization based in Manila. The group aims to share these powerful technologies to those who stand to benefit from them and at the same time establish an enabling environment for their safe use.

For more information on ISAAA’s 2007 report, visit:
www.isaaa.org/resources/publications/briefs/37/pptslides/default.html.