COARSE GRAINS: Projected U.S. feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are sharply lower with reduced prospects for corn acreage. Corn planted area for 2011/12 is lowered 1.5 million acres from March intentions to 90.7 million acres. Planting delays through early June in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains are expected to reduce planted area, more than offsetting likely gains in the western Corn Belt and central Plains where planting was ahead of normal by mid-May. Harvested area is lowered 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million with the additional 400,000-acre reduction reflecting early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley. Production is projected at 13.2 billion bushels, down 305 million from last month, but still a record, and up 753 million from 2010/11.
U.S. feed grain usage changes for 2011/12 include a 100-million-bushel projected decline in corn feed and residual use and a 5-million-bushel increase in sorghum exports. Feed grain ending stocks are sharply lower with expected corn ending stocks down 205 million bushels to 695 million. Corn ending stocks are projected 35 million bushels lower than beginning stocks indicating a stocks-to-use ratio of 5.2 percent compared with the 2010/11 forecast ratio of 5.4 percent. The 2011/12 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $6.00 to $7.00 per bushel, up 50 cents on both ends of the range. Projected farm prices are also raised for the other feed grains.
Global coarse grain supplies for 2011/12 are projected down 7.8 million tons this month with lower beginning stocks and production. Reduced U.S. corn production, lower EU-27 barley production, and reduced corn beginning stocks in China, more than offset increases in China corn production. EU-27 barley production is lowered 2.2 million tons as prolonged dryness across western and northern Europe has sharply reduced yield prospects in the major producing countries. China corn area is raised for 2010/11 in line with the most recent official government area estimates with the year-to-year percentage increase for 2011/12 largely maintained.
China corn production increases 5.0 million and 6.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12 with yields unchanged month-to-month. More than offsetting the higher production levels is higher estimated corn consumption for both feeding and industrial use. China corn consumption is raised 8.0 million tons and 13.0 million tons, respectively, for 2010/11 and 2011/12. Together these changes leave projected 2011/12 corn ending stocks down 12.0 million tons for China. At the projected 51.0 million tons, China’s stocks would be down 2.7 million tons from 2010/11 and just below the levels of the preceding 2 years, better reflecting the continuing rise in domestic corn prices as production struggles to keep pace with rising usage. Although China’s stocks represent 46 percent of the world total for 2011/12, China is not expected to be a significant exporter.
Global 2011/12 corn trade is raised slightly this month with higher imports for EU-27 and higher exports for Ukraine. Ukraine exports are raised 1.0 million tons with higher production and stronger expected demand from EU-27. Russia exports are lowered 0.5 million tons with lower production. Other important trade changes this month include a 0.2-million-ton increase in sorghum imports by Mexico, driving the U.S. export increase, and a 1.5-million-ton reduction in EU-27 barley exports with lower production and tighter supplies. Barley imports are lowered for Saudi Arabia and China. Global corn ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected down sharply this month, falling 17.3 million tons mostly reflecting the usage revisions in China. The projected 5.2-million-ton drop in U.S. ending stocks accounts for most of the rest of the decline. Global corn stocks are projected at 111.9 million tons, the lowest since 2006/07.