WASDE Coarse Grains: Increased U.S. Corn Acres Offset Lower Yields

The U.S. feed-grain outlook for 2019/20 is for larger production and domestic use, lower exports, and greater ending stocks. The corn crop is projected at 15.0 billion bushels, up from last year and the second largest on record behind 2016/17 as an increase in area more than offsets a reduction in yield.

The yield projection of 176.0 bushels per acre is based on a weather-adjusted trend assuming normal planting progress and summer growing season weather, estimated using the 1988-2018 time period. With beginning stocks down from a year ago, total corn supplies are forecast record high at 17.2 billion bushels.

Total U.S. corn use in 2019/20 is forecast to rise relative to a year ago as greater domestic use offsets a slight decline in exports. Food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use is projected to rise 50 million bushels to 7.0 billion. Corn used for ethanol is projected to increase 1 percent from a year ago, based on expectations of modest growth in motor gasoline consumption, a slight decline in ethanol’s inclusion rate into gasoline, and larger exports. Feed and residual use is projected higher on a larger crop, lower expected prices, and continued growth in grain consuming animal units.

U.S. corn exports are forecast to decline 25 million bushels in 2019/20, despite larger world corn trade. Increased exports out of Argentina and Brazil during 2018/19 (local marketing years beginning March 2019 and ending February 2020) are expected to limit U.S. exports during the first half of 2019/20. Combined corn exports for Ukraine and Russia in 2019/20 are projected to decline, mostly reflecting a return to normal weather for Ukraine following a bumper harvest in 2018/19.

With total U.S. corn supply rising more than use, 2019/20 U.S. ending stocks are up 390 million bushels from last year and if realized would be the highest since 1987/88. Stocks relative to use at 16.9 percent would be the highest since 2005/06. With larger stocks relative to use, the season-average farm price is projected at $3.30 per bushel, down 20 cents from 2018/19 and the lowest since 2006/07.

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The global coarse grain outlook for 2019/20 is for record production and use, and lower ending stocks. World corn production is forecast record high, with the largest increases for the United States, South Africa, Russia, Canada, India, and Brazil. Partly offsetting are smaller crops projected for China and Ukraine. Global corn use is expected to grow 1 percent, while global corn imports are projected to increase 2 percent.

Notable forecast increases in corn imports include China, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Vietnam. Global corn ending stocks are down 11.2 million tons from a year ago, mostly reflecting a forecast decline for China. Outside of China, stocks are up 6.8 million tons, and if realized would be the highest since 2016/17.

For China, total coarse grain imports are forecast at 15.1 million tons, up 2.7 million from 2018/19. Corn imports are forecast to increase, based on expectations of sharply reduced sorghum imports and a wider price wedge between China’s domestic and world market prices relative to a year ago, particularly in the feed deficit South.

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