USDA: Higher corn for ethanol use in November WASDE report

By Ann Bailey | November 09, 2016

The USDA November World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projects that corn used for ethanol will be 5.3 billion bushels in the 2016-'17 marketing year, 25 million bushels more than the agency estimated in its October WASDE report. In the 2015-'16 marketing year, 5.026 billion bushels of corn were used to make ethanol, USDA estimates.

The November WASDE report also estimated higher U.S. corn production and slightly higher prices than were estimated in the October report. USDA estimates corn production will be 15.226 billion bushels, a 168-million bushel increase over last month’s report. Average corn yields are estimated at 175.3 bushels per acre, a 1.9 bushels per acre increase from the October WASDE report. In 2015, the average per acre corn yield was 168.4 bushels per acre, USDA estimates. U.S. farmers will harvest 86.8 million acres of corn this year, the November WASDE report said. The number of harvested acres remained unchanged from the October report. Farmers harvested 80.7 million acres of corn last year, USDA said.

U.S. corn exports are estimated to be 2.225 billion bushels this year, the November WASDE report, said. That estimate was unchanged from the October report. Total use of corn this marketing year was estimated at 14.610 billion bushels, up from the October estimate of 14.525 billion bushels.

Because corn supplies are expected to increase faster than the demand for the commodity, USDA raised its estimate of corn ending stocks in the 2016-'17 marketing year by 83 million bushels to 2.403 billion bushels in the November WASDE report from its estimate of 2.32 billion bushels in the October report. Ending stocks in the 2015-'16 marketing year were 1.738 billion bushels, according to USDA. The projected range for the season-average corn price farmers will receive was raised on both the higher and lower end by a nickel a bushel to $3 and $3.60 per bushel. The projected price increase reflects the higher-than-expected corn prices early this harvest season.