World wheat output this year is expected to rise above 2003’s production, says the London-based International Grain Council.

The Council is claiming that more than 600 million tonnes could be produced, above last year’s estimated 554 million tonnes (mt). Half of this year’s projected increase would be in Europe where areas under winter production have widened in several countries and crops are in good condition.

Also, India’s output is expected to rise by four million tonnes to 73 mt. The council is however predicting a downturn in the USA of two mt to 62 million tonnes, following unexpectedly small winter sowings and dry weather in the western prairies.

China may also reduce its output by one million tonne to 85 mt.