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US Corn Ending Stocks Up Slightly; Brazil Crop Lowered

The USDA trimmed its 2023-24 US corn ending stocks estimate from last month, while also lowering its production forecast for Brazil. 

In its February supply-demand update on Thursday, the USDA revised food, seed, and industrial use 10 million bu lower from last month to 6.78 billion bu. That reduction that went straight to the bottom line and increased ending stocks by an identical amount to 2.172 billion bu, now even further above the previous year’s ending stocks of 1.36 billion. 

Going into today’s report, the average pre-report trade guess for US corn ending stocks was 2.146 billion bu. 

Meanwhile, the USDA lowered its estimate of the 2023-24 Brazil corn crop by 3 million tonnes from January to 124 million, a cut it attributed to an expected lower planted area. The reduction was a bit steeper than expected, with the average pre-report trade guess putting Brazil’s crop at 124.3 million tonnes. Last year’s Brazilian corn crop amounted to 137 million tonnes. 

Corn was trading about 3 cents/bu lower following the report’s noon hour (ET) release. 

With the decline in the Brazil corn production estimate, the USDA also lowered that country’s projected exports, down 2 million tonnes from January to 52 million. Exports for India and Serbia were also reduced from last month, but expected Ukraine shipments were bumped 2 million tonnes higher to 23 million – still down from 27.1 million in 2022-23. 

Argentina corn production and exports for 2023-24 were left unchanged from January at 55 million and 41 million tonnes, respectively. 

World corn ending stocks for 2023-24 are estimated at 322.06 million tonnes, down from 325.22 million last month but up from 300.25 million in 2022-23. 

The expected season-average corn price received by producers for 2023-24 is unchanged from January at $4.80/bu. 

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