WASDE Coarse Grains: Increased U.S. Corn Use, Exports, Higher Ending Stocks

Corn harvest. Photo: Texas A&M AgriLife

This month’s 2018/19 U.S. corn outlook is for larger supplies, greater feed and residual use, increased exports, and larger ending stocks. Corn production is forecast at 14.6 billion bushels, up 356 million from the July projection. The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at a record 178.4 bushels per acre, is 4.4 bushels higher than last month’s trend-based projection.

Today’s Crop Production report indicates that Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, and South Dakota are forecast to have yields above a year ago. The yield for Iowa is unchanged relative to last year, while Missouri, Minnesota, and Kansas are forecast below a year ago.

Feed and residual use is up based mostly on a larger crop and lower expected prices. Exports are raised reflecting U.S. export competitiveness and expectations of reduced competition from Brazil. With supply rising faster than use, ending stocks are raised 132 million bushels to 1.7 billion.

The season-average corn price received by producers is down 20 cents at the midpoint at a range of $3.10 to $4.10 per bushel.

Sorghum production is forecast 19 million bushels higher with the forecast yield 3.6 bushels per acre above last month’s projection. Sorghum food, seed, and industrial use is raised reflecting an increase in the amount of sorghum used to produce ethanol.

This month’s 2018/19 foreign coarse grain outlook is for lower production, reduced trade, and slightly lower stocks relative to last month. EU corn production is lowered, mostly reflecting reductions for France and Germany that are partially offset by increases for Romania and Bulgaria. Brazil corn production is lowered based on updated expectations for second-crop corn area that will be planted beginning early 2019. Ukraine corn production is forecast higher, as timely rainfall and lack of excessive heat during reproduction boost yield prospects.

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Other notable corn production changes include projected increases for Zimbabwe, Serbia, and Moldova, with reductions for Zambia and South Africa. Barley production is lowered for the EU, but raised for Ukraine.

Major foreign coarse grain trade changes for 2018/19 include corn export reductions for Brazil, Zambia, and South Africa that are partially offset by increases for Serbia, Ukraine, and Moldova. Brazil’s corn exports are lowered for 2017/18 based on lower-than-expected shipments observed for the local marketing year beginning in March 2018.

Global corn imports for 2018/19 are raised reflecting expectations of record-high imports for the EU that are partially offset by reductions for Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Foreign corn ending stocks are slightly higher relative to last month, mostly reflecting increases for Brazil and Zimbabwe that are largely offset by reductions for Zambia, South Africa, Canada, and Russia.

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