USDA projects 75M bushel increase in corn for ethanol production

By Susanne Retka Schill | February 10, 2015

USDA put a number to a projected increase in ethanol use in its Feb. 10, supply/demand report. Based on the higher forecasts for 2015 gasoline consumption coming for the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the USDA raised expected corn use for ethanol production by 75 million bushels, from 5.18 billion bushels last month to 5.25 billion bushels.

The higher ethanol use and accompanying increased distillers grains production means the USDA now projects corn feed and residual use 25 million bushels lower for the current marketing year, to 5.25 billion bushels. With feed and ethanol now expected to use equal portions of the corn crop, and projected exports raised slightly, the corn ending stocks are lowered 50 million bushels to 1.83 billion bushels. The projected range for the corn season-average farm price is narrowed 5 cents on both ends to $3.40 to $3.90 per bushel.

This month’s changes to 2014/15 sorghum supply and use are driven by adjustments in the trade outlook. Sorghum exports for 2014/15 are raised 30 million bushels with further strong export sales and shipments to China. Projected sorghum feed and residual use is lowered 10 million bushels and food, seed, and industrial use is lowered 15 million bushels. Sorghum ending stocks are projected 5 million bushels lower. The sorghum farm price range is narrowed 5 cents on each end to $3.55 to $4.05 per bushel.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2014/15 are projected 5.0 million tons higher mostly on higher corn production for Ukraine and Argentina and higher corn beginning stocks for South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. Higher 2014/15 beginning stocks for South Africa reflect reduced 2013/14 exports and an upward revision to 2013/14 production. Argentina and Brazil corn production are both revised higher for 2013/14.

The largest production change for 2014/15 is a 1.5-million-ton increase for Ukraine corn based on the latest government statistics. Argentina corn production for 2014/15 is raised 1 million tons reflecting mostly favorable growing conditions. Corn production is raised 500,000 tons for India and 200,000 tons each for EU, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Turkey. Russia corn production is reduced 500,000 tons. Other coarse grain production changes are mostly offsetting with sorghum raised for Argentina, but lowered for Mexico, and Russia barley and oats production raised and rye production lowered.

Global coarse grain consumption for 2014/15 is raised 4.8 million tons with foreign consumption up 4.3 million tons. Leading the increases are a 1-million-ton increase in EU corn feed use and an 800,000-ton increase in China sorghum feed use. Corn use is also increased for Canada, Mexico, Argentina and Turkey. Sorghum feed use is lowered for Mexico. Global coarse grain trade for 2014/15 is raised with corn imports higher for EU, Canada, and China, and sorghum imports higher for China. Corn exports are raised for Argentina, Ukraine, and South Africa, but lowered for Russia. In addition to the United States, sorghum exports are also raised for Argentina. Global coarse grain and corn ending stocks for 2014/15 are raised slightly.