WASDE Coarse Grains: U.S. Corn Demand Raised

This month’s 2017/18 U.S. corn outlook is for larger exports and increased corn used to produce ethanol. Corn used to produce ethanol is raised 50 million bushels to 5.575 billion based on the most recent data from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and pace of weekly ethanol production during February, as indicated by Energy Information Administration data.

Exports are raised 175 million bushels to 2.225 billion, reflecting U.S. price competitiveness, record-high outstanding sales, and reduced exports for Argentina. With no other use changes, ending stocks are lowered 225 million bushels to 2.127 billion, and if realized would be down from the prior marketing year.

The projected range for the season-average corn price received by producers is narrowed 10 cents on the low end to $3.15 to $3.55 per bushel, with the midpoint up 5 cents to $3.35 per bushel.

For sorghum, 2017/18 exports are lowered 15 million bushels to 245 million based on expectations of reduced shipments to China. Offsetting is an increase in projected feed and residual use to 80 million bushels. The midpoint price forecast is unchanged at $3.15 per bushel.

The global coarse grain production forecast for 2017/18 is virtually unchanged at 1,321.96 million metric tons. This month’s foreign coarse grain outlook is for nearly unchanged production, increased use, lower trade, and greater stocks relative to last month. Brazil corn production is down based on expectations of a more modest increase in second-crop corn area.

For Argentina, continued heat and dryness during February and into early March reduces yield prospects for late-planted corn. Yield results for early-planted corn have also been lower than expected. South Africa corn production is higher as timely rains during reproduction support an increased yield forecast.

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Partially offsetting is lower expected area. Corn production is raised for India based on the latest information from the government. EU corn production is higher based on recent data for France and Germany. Sorghum production for Australia is down as a period of heat and dryness during the growing season has reduced yield prospects. Area is also reduced.

Major global trade changes for 2017/18 this month include higher projected corn exports for the United States more than offsetting a reduction for Argentina. Sorghum exports are lowered for Australia, reflecting reduced exportable supplies. Corn and barley imports are raised for China, partially offset by lower imports of sorghum.

Barley imports are lowered for Saudi Arabia, based on tenders to date and expectations of robust demand from China. Brazil 2016/17 exports for the local marketing year ending February 2018 are lowered based on data to date. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2017/18 are higher from last month, mostly reflecting increases for Brazil, India, and the EU.

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