WASDE: Corn use for ethanol up; Global projections increase

By USDA | March 09, 2017

This month’s 2016-’17 U.S. corn outlook is for increased corn used to produce ethanol and reduced feed and residual use.  Corn used to produce ethanol is raised 50 million bushels to 5.4 billion based on the most recent data from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and strong pace of weekly ethanol production during February, as indicated by Energy Information Administration data.  Offsetting is a 50-million-bushel reduction in projected feed and residual use to 5.55 billion bushels, based on indicated use during 2015-’16, increased corn for ethanol, and higher expected sorghum feeding.  Ending stocks are unchanged from last month.  The projected range for the season-average corn price received by producers is unchanged at $3.20 to $3.60 per bushel.

Corn for food, seed, and industrial use (FSI) is raised 11 million bushels for the previous crop year, 2015-’16, reflecting an 18-million-bushel increase in estimated corn used in ethanol production based on revisions to monthly data reported in the March 1 Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production 2016 Summary.  Partially offsetting is a marginal reduction in nonethanol FSI.  With stocks and trade known, a change is made to feed and residual use.

Global coarse grain production for 2016-’17 is forecast 12.7 million tons higher from last month to 1.34 billion.  This month’s foreign coarse grain outlook is for increased production, consumption, trade and stocks relative to last month.  Brazil corn production is raised on increases to both projected area and yield.  Reported first crop yields have been record high, while the rapid planting progress of second crop corn in the Center-West boosts expected area and yield prospects, allowing for greater crop development prior to the normal end of the rainy season.  South Africa corn production is higher as above-normal rainfall and benign temperatures during grain fill support an increased yield forecast.  India corn production is raised based on the latest government statistics.  Argentina corn production is increased based on higher-than-expected yield results for early-planted corn and indications of larger planted area.  Barley production for Australia is projected sharply higher based on the latest information from ABARES.

Major global trade changes for 2016-’17 this month include higher projected corn exports for Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa.  Corn imports are raised for Iran, while barley imports are raised for Saudi Arabia and China.  Foreign corn ending stocks are raised from last month, mostly reflecting increases for Brazil, Argentina, Iran and South Africa.