USDA projects total corn supply to reach record 15.5 B bushels

By Susanne Retka Schill | August 12, 2015

USDA boosted its corn projections in its monthly supply and demand report, forecasting this year’s production at 13.7 billion bushels, up 156 million from the July projection. The survey-based corn yield forecast calls for 168.8 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from last month’s trend-based projection. That compares to last year’s estimated 171 bushels per acre corn yield.

Total corn supplies for 2015-‘16 are projected at a record 15.5 billion bushels, up 154 million from last month with a small reduction in beginning stocks. Projected ending stocks for 2014-‘15 decline 6 million bushels with higher expected use. Increased use for sweeteners is partly offset by reductions in other categories of food and industrial use and an increase in imports.

Total U.S. corn use for 2015-‘16 is projected 40 million bushels higher as increased domestic usage is expected to more than offset a reduction in exports. Feed and residual use is projected 25 million bushels higher with the larger crop and lower expected prices. Food, seed and industrial use is projected up 40 million bushels with use for ethanol production raised 25 million bushels to 5.25 billion bushels on the latest forecast for gasoline consumption by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That compares with 5.2 billion bushels estimated ethanol use in the previous year and 5.13 billion bushels in 2013-‘14.

Exports are projected 25 million bushels lower with larger supplies in Brazil and Argentina expected to increase competition for U.S. corn in world markets. U.S. corn ending stocks for 2015-‘16 are projected 114 million bushels higher. The season-average corn price received by producers is projected 10 cents lower on both ends to $3.35 to $3.95 per bushel. This would be down 5 cents, at the midpoint, from the $3.65 to $3.75 per bushel expected for 2014-‘15.

Foreign corn beginning stocks are up 3.6 million tons with increases in 2014-‘15 production for Brazil and Mexico and increases in 2014-‘15 imports for China, EU, South Korea and Mexico. Argentina corn production is also raised for 2014-‘15. Foreign corn production for 2015-‘16 is reduced 5.5 million tons with reductions for China, EU and Serbia, only partly offset by increases for Brazil, Ukraine and Russia.

Global 2015-‘16 coarse grain consumption is lowered slightly with a reduction in global corn use driven by reductions in corn feeding for EU, China, and Ukraine. Higher wheat feeding is expected for EU and Ukraine, and higher sorghum feeding for China. Global coarse grain trade is higher with corn imports raised for EU, barley imports raised for Saudi Arabia, and sorghum imports raised for China. Corn exports are raised for Ukraine, Brazil and Russia with larger crops. Corn exports are reduced for Serbia, EU and the United States. Sorghum exports are raised for the United States with the larger crop. Global coarse grain ending stocks for 2015-‘16 are raised this month with a 5.1-million-ton increase for corn mostly on higher stocks in the United States, Brazil and Mexico.