Feed Grain Outlook: No Changes to Domestic Projections

    Drone view of harvested corn storage bag containers. ©Debra L Ferguson

    With no new data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service this month, and steady demand from exports, food, seed, and industrial use, and feed and residual use, there were no balance sheet changes this month to corn, sorghum, or oats. Projected prices are unchanged for corn and sorghum and lowered 5-cents per bushel for barley and oats.

    Domestic Outlook

    Corn, Sorghum, and Oats Balance Sheets Unchanged From Last Month

    The 2019/20 balance sheets for corn, sorghum, and oats are unchanged this month. With no new National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) data, and demand factors steady; eyes are already on the January WASDE report which will reveal first-quarter feed and residual based on December 1 grain stocks, and objective yield and farmer reported survey results-based acreage and yield data for the four feed grains and first-quarter data on food seed, and industrial (FSI) use.

    The corn harvest is still underway, with 92 percent of the crop harvested as of December 8 as reported by the NASS Crop Progress report. This is a significant shortfall compared with last year’s pace at this point. Typically, the harvest is complete by this time.

    North Dakota, Michigan, and Wisconsin were the furthest behind. Many acres will likely be left in the field over the winter for harvest in early spring, if possible. Of the 18 States surveyed, only 5 (Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) had completed their corn harvest.

    Grain-Consuming Animal Units

    Grain-consuming animal units (GCAU) for 2019/20 are projected at 102.6 million units, up 0.1 million from last month. Inventory rose for broilers and layers but declined for beef cattle.

    Feed and Residual Use: Four Feed Grains and Wheat

    Feed and residual use for the four feed grains (corn, sorghum, barley, and oats) and wheat on a September-August marketing year basis for 2019/20 is projected at 144.1 million tons, unchanged from last month. A few minor offsetting quarterly changes in quarterly wheat feed and residual were offsetting. Feed and residual per GCAU is steady.

    2019/20 Use Unchanged

    Feed and residual for 2019/20 is projected at 5,275 million bushels, unchanged from last month. Export prospects for 2019/20 are unchanged this month at 1,850 million. Shipments for the month of October reached 90.9 million bushels, 10.8 higher than the previous month.

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    Export inspection data for the month of November, while down nearly 50 percent from a year ago, is up nearly 30 percent relative to October. Moreover, the U.S. export price competitiveness has improved substantially over the past month, and this should support greater sales and shipments in the coming months.

    Corn used to produce fuel ethanol, as reported in the NASS Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report, gained 8 percent in October relative to September and Energy Information Administration weekly production figures for November indicate production for the month rose relative to the month of October.

    Expectations are for the amount of corn used to produce ethanol to show a further uptick during the second quarter and forward, thus projected corn for ethanol is unchanged from last month’s forecast. There are no changes in other FSI categories. Total FSI use is projected at 6,790 million bushels.

    Barley Exports Raised

    Projected 2019/20 barley exports are raised 1 million bushels to 4 million, based on year-to-date pace. As a result, ending stocks are lowered 1 million bushels to 92.1 million.

    2018/19 Byproduct Trade Value

    Ethanol byproducts –dried distillers grains (DDGs), corn gluten meal (CGM), and corn gluten feed (CGF)) are an important feed source both domestically and globally. The export value of ethanol byproducts reached $3.1 billion during 2018/19. The major destinations were Mexico (12 percent), Vietnam (7 percent), Indonesia (7 percent), South Korea (7 percent) and Turkey (4 percent).

    Other major destinations were Canada, Ireland, Thailand, Japan, and Egypt. These ten destinations accounted for 54 percent of coproduct exports by value. DDGs made up 78 percent of byproduct export value followed by corn gluten meal at 15 percent and corn gluten feed at 7 percent. For the first two months of 2019/20, byproduct export value totaled $484.3 million, 13 percent behind the same period in 2018/19.

    Price Changes for 2019/20 Barley and Oats

    The projected 2019/20 season average price (SAP) received by farmers for barley is lowered $0.05 per bushel to $4.65 reflecting lower malt and feed barley prices to date. The projected oats SAP was also lowered $0.05 per bushel to $2.90 based on observed prices to date.

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