COARSE GRAINS: This month’s 2018/19 U.S. corn outlook is for lower imports, production, food, seed, and industrial use (FSI), feed and residual use, and stocks. Corn production is estimated at 14.420 billion bushels, down 206 million on reduction in yield to 176.4 bushels per acre. Harvested area is down fractionally.
Total corn use is down 165 million bushels to 14.865 billion. FSI use is lowered 40 million bushels, reflecting reductions to corn used for ethanol and other industrial use. For ethanol, the reduction is based on the most recent data from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and weekly ethanol production data as reported by the Energy Information Administration for the months of December and January. Other FSI use is lowered 15 million bushels with lower projections for high fructose corn syrup and glucose and dextrose. Feed and residual use is lowered 125 million bushels to 5.375 billion based on a smaller crop and indicated disappearance during September-November as reflected by the December 1 stocks. With supply falling more than use, corn stocks are lowered 46 million bushels. The season-average corn price received by producers is unchanged at a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel.
Sorghum production for 2018/19 is estimated slightly higher at 365 million bushels, as an increase in yield to 72.1 bushels per acre more than offsets a decline in harvested area. Grain sorghum prices are forecast at $3.35 per bushel, down 5 cents at the midpoint. Global coarse grain production for 2018/19 is forecast 1.5 million tons lower to 1,372.1 million. This month’s foreign coarse grain outlook is for increased production and consumption, and marginally lower trade. Foreign corn production is forecast higher with increases for Argentina, China, and Ukraine more than offsetting reductions for South Africa and Mexico. Argentina’s corn production is up based on higher expected area and yield, with abundant rainfall and benign temperatures over the past two months boosting yield prospects. China and Ukraine are higher based on the latest official statistics. South Africa is lowered as heat and dryness during the month of January, particularly in the western producing areas, reduces yield prospects. Major global trade changes for 2018/19 include increased corn exports for Argentina and Ukraine, partially offset by reductions for South Africa and Mexico. For 2017/18, Argentina’s exports are reduced with a partially offsetting increase for Brazil based on observed shipments to date for the local marketing years that both started in March 2018. Imports are raised for South Africa for the marketing years that both started in May 2018. For 2018/19, imports are raised for Chile but lowered for Venezuela. China’s barley imports are reduced, while barley exports are lowered for Australia. Foreign corn ending stocks are higher, mostly reflecting increases for Argentina and China. Global corn stocks, at 309.8 million, are up 1.0 million.