USDA releases first monthly corn crush and coproducts report

By Susanne Retka Schill | February 19, 2015

The first monthly survey of industrial grain crush and coproducts was released Feb. 19 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Survey, showing corn and sorghum consumption data for fuel ethanol, beverage alcohol and other uses. The first report covered the last quarter of 2014, launching regular monthly reports by NASS under the Current Agricultural Industrial Report program.

While corn use is tracked by USDA in other reports, NASS’s new report focuses on industrial consumption for fuel ethanol, beverage alcohol and other uses by wet and dry mills. It is the only report gathering production data on distillers grains and wet mill products.

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was 510.1 million bushels in December 2014. Total corn consumption was up 5 percent from November 2014 and up 7 percent from October 2014.

Breaking down the industrial sectors, the agency said 91.2 percent of December use was for alcohol and 8.8 percent for other purposes. Corn for beverage alcohol totaled 2.36 million bushels, down 21 percent from November and down 44 percent from October.

Corn for fuel alcohol at 456.0 million bushels was up 5 percent from November and up 7 percent from October. Corn consumed for fuel production included dry milling (89.2 percent) and wet milling (10.8 percent).

Corn used for purposes other than fuel production totaled 44.9 million bushels, up 7 percent from November and up 14 percent from October.

Sorghum consumption for fuel alcohol was 889,000 hundredweight during December 2014. Total sorghum consumption was down 57 percent from the November and down 53 percent from October 2014.

Dry mill DDGS production was 1.9 million tons during December 2014, up 8 percent from November and up 3 percent from October. Distillers wet grains (65 percent or more moisture) was 1.4 million tons in December 2014, up 4 percent from November 2014 and up 6 percent from October 2014.

Other dry mill coproducts and their December production figures included: condensed distillers solubles (syrup) at 172,082 tons, corn oil at 97,380 tons (down from just over 107,000 tons the previous two months), distillers dried grains at 448,551 tons, and modified distillers wet grains (40-64 percent moisture) at 503,258 tons.

Wet mill corn gluten feed production was 329.4 thousand tons during December 2014, up 12 percent from November 2014 and up 3 percent from October 2014. Wet corn gluten feed (40 to 60 percent moisture) was 338.1 thousand tons in December 2014, up 7 percent from November 2014 and up 5 percent from October 2014.

Other wet mill coproducts and the December production figures include corn germ meal at 75,031 tons, corn gluten meal at 94,777 tons, and corn oil at 44,551 tons.

Carbon dioxide captured at both dry and wet mills total 217,311 tons in December.

USDA agricultural statistician David Caldwell told Ethanol Producer Magazine that the agency began contacting ethanol producers last summer to build the list of dry and wet mills and their capacities and work out the details of data submissions. “We have a very good participation rate,” Caldwell said, “although it is still a work in progress.” With a participation rate in mid-90s, the quality of the data is quite good.

The first report says about 130 reports are received monthly, representing about 94 percent of total capacity. The webpage explaining the grain crushing and coproducts production survey gives the count of ethanol facilities at 200 with 14.792 billion gallons nameplate capacity. Questionnaires are either mailed out or producers can report electronically. Headquarters for companies with multiple plants can report for all locations, or each location can report individually. For surveys not received in a reasonable amount of time, telephone follow-up will be completed.

Though the first report was released mid-month, the regular schedule is to release the report on the first working day of the month. The next release will be available March 2, and will include the data from January production reports.

To find the data on the NASS website click here

To sign up to receive email notices of newly released reports and the new CAIR: grain crush and coproducts click here.   

NASS’s Current Agricultural Industry Report is replacing a Census Bureau program that was discontinued in 2011 due to budget reductions. Other U.S. industries are being similarly surveyed under the industrial reporting program to track data on wheat consumed for flour milling, cotton use, fats and oil production and oilseed crushing.