WASDE: Forecast for 2020-’21 corn use in ethanol maintained

By Erin Voegele | December 10, 2020

The USDA maintained its forecast for 2020-’21 corn use in ethanol production in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Dec. 10. The forecasts for U.S. corn supply, use and season-average farm price were also unchanged.

The forecast for corn area harvested held steady at 82.5 million acres. Expected yields were also unchanged at 175.8 bushels per acre. Corn production for 2020-’21 is expected at 14.507 billion bushels, up from 13.62 billion bushels in 2019-’20. An estimated 5.05 billion bushels of corn is expected to go to ethanol production in 2020-’21, up from 4.852 billion bushels in 2019-’20, but down from 5.378 billion bushels in 2018-’19. The season-average farm price for 2021-’20 was maintained at $4 per bushel. Beginning stocks are expected at 1.995 billion bushels, with ending stocks at 1.702 billion bushels.

Globally, foreign corn production is forecast lower as an increase for Ukraine is more than offset by reductions for Argentina, the European Union and Canada. Argentine corn production is reduced based on lower expected area. Canadian corn output is lowered as marginally higher area is more than offset by a reduction in yield. EU corn production is down mostly reflecting a smaller forecast for Bulgaria. Ukraine corn production is raised based on harvest results to date.

Corn exports are raised for Ukraine but lowered for the EU. Imports are raised for China and Bangladesh, with partially offsetting reductions for the EU, Egypt, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2020-’21 are reduced, mostly reflecting reductions for India, Brazil, Canada, Ukraine and Egypt.