USDA lowers project corn yield by 1.3 bushels per acre

By Susanne Retka Schill | September 11, 2015

USDA lowered its corn yield forecast by 1.3 bushels per acre from last month’s report in its Sept. 11 supply-demand report. Corn production is forecast 101 million bushels lower with the national average yield expected at 167.5 bushels per acre, putting the projected new crop at 13.58 billion bushels.

A 40-million-bushel reduction in projected beginning stocks, reflecting higher expected corn food, seed, and industrial use (FSI) and exports in 2014/15, also reduces projected supplies for 2015/16 to 15.35 billion bushels. 

U.S. corn usage for 2015/16 is lowered 20 million bushels, but usage is expected to be record high and just above the level projected for 2014/15.  Feed and residual use for 2015/16 is expected 25 million bushels lower with the smaller crop.  FSI use is projected 5 million bushels higher on an increase in expected use for sweeteners consistent with this month’s upward revision to that usage category for 2014/15. Projected ethanol use, remained the same as August’s report at 5.25 billion bushels. That compares with 5.205 estimated for the 2014/15 marketing year and 5.124 used two years ago. The marketing year for corn begins Sept. 1.

Despite higher projected global import demand, projected corn exports for 2015/16 are unchanged with tighter supplies.  U.S. ending stocks for 2015/16 are projected 121 million bushels lower and 140 million bushels below this month’s lowered 2014/15 carryout projection.  The 2015/16 season-average corn price received by producers is projected 10 cents higher on both ends to $3.45 to $4.05 per bushel.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2015/16 are projected 2.3 million tons lower as a 7.5-million-ton reduction in world corn production more than offsets a 5.3-million-ton increase in world barley output.  Much of the decline in global corn production reflects a 4.3-million-ton reduction in EU corn and this month’s lower U.S. production, but small reductions are also made for the Philippines, Moldova, Serbia, and Thailand.  Barley production is raised for Russia, EU, Canada, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Global 2015/16 coarse grain consumption is raised slightly, mostly on higher expected barley consumption for EU and Saudi Arabia.  Global corn consumption is lowered 2.3 million tons with the reduction in U.S. feed and residual use and lower corn feeding expected in EU.  Higher EU barley and wheat feeding more than offset reductions for corn and oats.  EU corn imports are raised 1.0 million tons. 

Global corn imports for 2015/16 are raised 2.0 million tons as increases for Vietnam, Mexico, and the Philippines combine with that for EU.  Corn exports for 2015/16 are raised for Ukraine.  A 1.0-million-ton increase in 2014/15 Brazil corn exports, reflecting higher expected shipments through February 2016, also helps meet higher expected global corn import demand resulting from the crop short-fall in EU during the 2015/16 marketing year.  Global 2015/16 corn ending stocks are projected 5.4 million tons lower at 189.7 million, 7.5 million lower than for 2014/15.