WASDE Coarse Grains: Greater Production, Domestic Use, Lower Exports

Late season corn irrigation. Photo: Steve Melvin – UNL Extension Educator Irrigated Cropping Systems

The U.S. feed-grain outlook for 2021/22 is for greater production and domestic use, lower exports, and increased ending stocks. The corn crop is projected at 15.0 billion bushels, up from last year on higher area and a return to trend yield. The yield projection of 179.5 bushels per acre is based on a weather-adjusted trend assuming normal planting progress and summer growing season weather, estimated using the 1988-2020 time period.

With beginning stocks that are down sharply from a year ago, total corn supplies are forecast to increase modestly to 16.3 billion bushels.

Total U.S. corn use in 2021/22 is forecast to decline relative to a year ago as greater domestic use is more than offset by lower exports. Food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use is projected to rise 220 million bushels to 6.6 billion.

Corn used for ethanol is projected to increase based on expectations of higher U.S. motor gasoline consumption. Sorghum FSI is unchanged from a year ago as expectations of robust sorghum exports to China limit available domestic supplies. Corn feed and residual use is unchanged, as a larger crop is offset by increased corn used for ethanol and higher expected season-average farm prices received by producers.

U.S. corn exports are forecast to decline 325 million bushels in 2021/22. Unfavorable production prospects are forecast to limit exports out of Argentina and Brazil during 2020/21 (local marketing years beginning March 2021 and ending February 2022), supporting U.S. exports during the first half of 2021/22.

However, a 335-million-bushel increase in the combined corn exports for Ukraine and Russia in 2021/22 is expected to increase competition for the United States, reducing the forecast U.S. share of global corn trade from a year ago.

With total U.S. corn supply rising and use declining, 2021/22 U.S. ending stocks are up 250 million bushels from last year. Stocks relative to use at 10.2 percent would be above a year ago but still below the average seen during 2016/17 to 2019/20. The season-average corn price received by producers in 2021/22 is projected at $5.70 per bushel, up $1.35 from a year ago when much of the crop was marketed at lower prices.

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The global coarse grain outlook for 2021/22 is for record production and use, and larger ending stocks. World corn production is forecast record high, with the largest increases for the United States, Brazil, China, Ukraine, and Argentina. Global corn use is expected to grow 3 percent, with foreign consumption up 3 percent.

Global corn imports are projected to increase 3 percent. Notable increases in corn imports include the EU, Turkey, Iran, Japan, and Mexico. Global corn ending stocks are up 3 percent from a year ago, with expected increases for the United States and foreign countries. Excluding China, corn ending stocks are up 10 percent relative to a year ago.

For China, total coarse grain imports are forecast at 46.3 million tons, up 3.1 million from 2020/21 and if realized would be record high. Expectations are for continued relatively high corn and other energy feedstuff prices in China, despite an increase in corn production. Among the individual coarse grains, corn imports are forecast at 26.0 million tons, barley at 10.0 million, and sorghum at 10.0 million.

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