LONDON (B)--The International Grains Council said June 29 it sees world wheat output for 2000-01 at 577.0 million tonnes. The latest forecast was revised down from last month's forecast by 9.5 million tonnes. The latest forecast is also 6 million tonnes lower than the 1999-2000 total of 583 million tonnes, mainly due to drought in various countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa.

It said it sees coarse grain output for 2000-01 at 882.9 million tonnes, up from 880.3 million tonnes for 1999-2000. The IGC also estimated world wheat stocks for June 30, 2001 at 103 million tonnes, down 18 million tonnes on the year.

Looking ahead to 2001-02, it said that high oil prices resulting from OPEC, which have already impacted the trend of ocean freight weights, could if sustained, bring a marked rise in grain production costs.

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