EIA maintains 2022-’23 forecast for corn use in ethanol

By Erin Voegele | August 12, 2022

The USDA reduced its estimate for 2021-’22 corn use in ethanol by 25 million bushels in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Aug. 12. The forecast for 2020-’23 corn use in ethanol was maintained.

The agency’s 2022-23 U.S. corn outlook is for lower supplies; reduced feed and residual use; slightly higher food, seed and industrial use; smaller exports; and lower ending stocks. Projected beginning stocks for 2022-23 are 20 million bushels higher based on a lower use forecast for 2021-’22, which a reduction in corn ethanol is partially offset by greater use for glucose and dextrose.

Corn production for 2022-’23 is forecast at 14.4 billion bushels, down 145 million from the July projection. The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 175.4 bushels per acre, is 1.6 bushels below last month’s projection. Among the major producing states, the USDA’s Aug. 12 Crop Production report indicates that yields are forecast above a year ago in Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota. Yields in Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio are forecast below a year ago. Iowa is unchanged, according to the USDA.

Total expected corn use for 2022-’23 is reduced 45 million bushels to 14.5 billion. Feed and residual use is lowered 25 million bushels based on a smaller crop. Corn used for glucose and dextrose is projected higher based on observed use during 2021-’22.

The USDA currently predicts 5.375 billion bushels of corn will go to ethanol production in 2022-23, a forecast maintained from the July WASDE. The forecast for 2021-’22 corn use in ethanol was lowered to 5.35 billion bushels, down 25 million bushels from the July forecast of 5.375 billion bushels. Approximately 5.033 billion bushels of corn went to ethanol production in 2020-’21.

Exports for 2022-’23 are cut 25 million bushels to 2.4 billion. With supply falling more than use, ending stocks are lowered 82 million bushels to 1.4 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers is unchanged at $6.65 per bushel.

This month’s 2022-’23 foreign coarse grain outlook is for lower production, larger trade, and smaller ending stocks relative to last month. Foreign corn production is down, with reductions for the EU and Serbia partially offset by increases for Ukraine, Malawi, Russia and Turkey. EU corn production is sharply lower as extreme heat and dryness cut crop prospects for Romania, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Germany. Serbia is also reduced based on lower yield prospects. Corn production for Ukraine is higher as moderate to heavy late-July rainfall boost yield expectations.

Major global coarse grain trade changes for 2022-’23 include forecast corn export increases for Ukraine, Serbia, Zambia, and Russia. Exports are lowered for the EU and U.S. Corn imports are raised for the EU but reduced for Vietnam. Foreign corn ending stocks for 2022-’23 are down 4.2 million tons to 271.4 million.