WASDE forecasts increased corn use for ethanol

By Erin Voegele | March 08, 2018

The USDA has released the March edition of its world Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, predicting increased corn exports and increased corn use for ethanol production in 2017-‘18.

The report increases its forecast for corn used to produce ethanol by 50 million bushels, to 5.575 billion. Exports are raised 175 million bushels, to 2.225 billion. With no other use changes, ending stocks are lowered 225 million bushels, to 2.127 billion. If realized, ending stocks would be down from the prior marketing year.

The projected range for the season-average corn price received by producers is narrowed 10 cents on the low end to $3.15 to $3.55 per bushel, with the midpoint up 5 cents to $3.35 per bushel.

Brazil corn production is revised down based on expectations of a more modest increase in second-crop corn area. In Argentina, continued heat and dryness during February and into early March reduces yield prospects for late-planted corn. Yield results for early-planted corn have also been lower than expected. South Africa corn production is higher at timely rains support an increased yield forecast. Corn production is raised for India, while EU corn production is higher based on recent data for France and Germany.

Higher projected corn exports for the U.S. are expected to more than offset a reduction for Argentina. Corn imports are raised for China. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2017-’18 are higher from last month, mostly reflecting increases in Brazil, India and the EU.