USDA increases 2021-’22 estimate for corn use in ethanol

By Erin Voegele | August 12, 2021

The USDA maintained its 2021-’22 forecast for corn use in ethanol in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Aug. 12. The estimate for 2019-’20 corn use in ethanol was increased.

The USDA said the August corn outlook is for lower supplies; reduced feed and residual use; increased food, seed and industrial use; lower exports; and smaller ending stocks.

Projected beginning stocks for 2021-’22 are revised 35 million bushels higher based on a lower use forecast for 2020-’21. The USDA has increased its estimate for 2020-’21 corn use in ethanol to 5.075 billion bushels, up from the 5.05 billion estimate made in the July WASDE. Approximately 4.857 billion bushels of corn went to ethanol production in 2019-’20.

Corn production for 2021-’22 is forecast at 14.8 billion bushels, down 415 million from the USDA’s projection in the July WASDE. The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 174.6 bushels per acre, is 4.9 bushels below last month’s trend-based projection. Record high yields are expected in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Yields in Minnesota and South Dakota are forecast below a year ago.

Total corn use for 2021-’22 is down 190 million bushels to 14.7 billion. Feed and residual use is down 100 million bushels based mostly on a smaller crop and higher expected prices. Corn used for glucose and dextrose and starch is projected higher based on observed use during 2020-’21. The USDA has maintained its 2021-’22 forecast for corn use in ethanol at 5.2 billion bushels. Exports for 2021-’22 are lowered 100 million bushels to 2.4 billion. The-season average corn price received by producers is raised 15 cents to $5.75 per bushel.

Foreign corn production is forecast higher relative to last month. Ukraine corn production is raised as a reduction in areas is more than offset by a boost in yield prospects. Russia corn production is increased based on expectations of greater areas. EU corn production is lowered, mostly reflecting reductions for Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria that are partially offset by increases for France, Croatia and Germany. Other notable corn production changes include projected increases for India, Canada and Moldova, with a reduction for Serbia.

The forecast for corn exports are increased for Ukraine, Russia and India, with reductions for Serbia and the E.U. Corn imports are raised for Bangladesh, Thailand and the U.K., but are reduced for Iran, Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. For 2020-’21, for the local marketing year beginning March 2021, corn exports are lowered for Brazil, but raised for Argentina. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2021-’22 are down 1.7 million tons to 253.1 million.