WASDE Coarse Grains: U.S. Corn Production Declines

U.S. feed grain supplies for 2015/16 are lowered as small increases in corn and sorghum imports and sorghum production are more than offset by a reduction in corn production. Harvested area for corn is raised slightly, but the national average yield is estimated 0.9 bushel per acre lower than the previous forecast at 168.4 bushels per acre.

Corn production for 2015/16 is estimated 53 million bushels lower, but remains the third largest crop on record at 13.6 billion. Sorghum production is estimated 3 million bushels higher as an increase in harvested area more than offsets a reduction in yield.

Total projected corn use for 2015/16 is reduced slightly with lower projected food, seed, and industrial use and exports. Feed and residual use is unchanged as September-November disappearance, as indicated by the December 1 stocks, was largely in line with expectations.

Corn used to produce ethanol is unchanged, but projected use for sweeteners is lowered 10 million bushels. Exports are lowered 50 million bushels based on the slow pace of sales and shipments to date and continued strong competition from South American suppliers.

Corn ending stocks are projected 17 million bushels higher at 1.8 billion bushels, stocks remain the highest since 2005/06. The projected range for the 2015/16 season-average corn farm price is lowered 5 cents on each end to $3.30 to $3.90 per bushel reflecting weakness in export demand and recent declines in cash and futures prices.

The sorghum farm price is lowered 20 cents at the midpoint to a range of $3.05 to $3.55 per bushel reflecting the weakening relationship to cash corn prices in interior markets.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2015/16 are projected 6.8 million tons lower mostly on lower corn production for South Africa and the United States and lower rye production for Russia. Foreign coarse grain supplies are lowered 5.9 million tons. Corn production is lowered 4.0 million tons for South Africa as continued heat and dryness during December further reduced
prospects for area and yields, particularly in the western producing areas where satellite imagery suggests much of this year’s crop may not have been planted.

Russia corn production is lowered 0.5 million tons with reductions in area and yields, but an area increase for Ukraine corn raises production an offsetting 0.5 million tons. Other corn production changes include small reductions for China and Peru. Reductions in rye and oats production for Russia more than offset an increase for barley.

Global coarse grain consumption for 2015/16 is reduced with the biggest reduction for Russia, down 1.2 million tons with lower rye, oats, and corn consumption reflecting tighter supplies with the smaller crops. Corn consumption for South Africa is lowered 0.7 million tons with reduced supplies. Corn consumption is also lowered for Saudi Arabia, Argentina, and Pakistan.

Global coarse grain imports for 2015/16 are raised with increases for South Africa, Mexico, and Peru corn more than offsetting reductions in corn imports for China and Saudi Arabia. Corn exports are raised for Brazil, Mexico, and Ukraine, but lowered for South Africa, India, and Russia. Corn exports are also raised for Argentina and Brazil for the 2014/15 (March 2015 through February 2016 local year) further reducing prospects for 2015/16 U.S. corn exports (September 2015 through August 2016).

Global 2015/16 corn ending stocks are projected 2.9 million tons lower with reductions for Brazil, China, South Africa, Pakistan, Russia, Argentina, and Saudi Arabia. World corn ending stocks remain record large at 208.9 million tons; however, more than half of those stocks are held in China.

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