USDA projects record corn yield of 172.4 b/a, 14.47 B total

By Susanne Retka Schill | October 10, 2014

The USDA’s October supply/demand report pushed the corn forecast 80 million bushels higher at a record 14.475 billion bushels as lower reported harvested area is more than offset by a 2.5 bushel per acre increase in average yield to 172.4 bushels per acre. The USDA adjusted area planted to corn down slightly to 90.9 million acres, with 83.1 million to be harvested, compared to the 2013/14 estimate of 87.7 million acres harvested.

The USDA’s corn production estimate came in slightly under the trade’s pre-report average number that was just above 14.5 billion bushels, according to a DTN analysis. The trade predictions for yield averaged 174.7 bushels per acre.

Projections for ethanol use were unchanged from last month’s report at 5.125 billion bushels, which compares with the estimated use of 5.130 billion bushels for the 2013/14 marketing year just concluded. The bushels reported for corn used in ethanol production includes the approximate one-third portion that is returned to the feed market as distillers grains.  

Corn supplies for 2014/15 are projected at 15.736 billion bushels, up 129 million from last month, reflecting both higher production and a 55-million-bushel increase in beginning stocks from the September Grain Stocks report. Projected imports are lowered 5 million bushels with tighter corn supplies in Canada. 

Projected U.S. corn use for 2014/15 is raised 50 million bushels on higher expected feed and residual disappearance driven by the larger crop, higher projected meat production, and the lower price outlook. Corn ending stocks are raised 79 million bushels to 2.081 billion. The projected range for the season-average farm price is lowered 10 cents on each end to $3.10 to $3.70 per bushel. 

Projected sorghum supplies for 2014/15 are lowered 12 million bushels as a 26-million-bushel reduction in forecast production more than outweighs higher beginning stocks as reported in the Grain Stocks report. Exports are projected 20 million bushels higher on strong demand from China. Domestic use is projected 40 million bushels lower as export demand makes sorghum less competitive in ethanol production and for domestic feeding. The sorghum season-average farm price range is projected 5 cents lower on each end to $2.95 to $3.55 per bushel.

Global corn production is raised 3.2 million tons with increases for EU and the United States partly offset by reductions for FSU. EU corn production is raised 2.7 million tons with increases in a number of countries, based on the latest data and harvest results. Corn production is lowered 1 million tons for Ukraine and 0.5 million tons each for Belarus and Russia, also on the latest harvest results, which reflect the impact of hot, dry, late summer growing conditions. 

Global corn trade is lowered this month, mostly reflecting a 3-million-ton reduction in expected imports by EU. Exports are lowered for Canada and Russia. Global corn ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected 0.7 million tons higher with larger stocks in the United States.