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USDA Feed Outlook

14 August 2014

USDA Feed Outlook - 14 August 2014USDA Feed Outlook - 14 August 2014

Feed Outlook

Record Forecast Yields Produce Record Corn Crop

The first survey-based yield forecast for the 2014 U.S. corn crop is up 2.1 bushels per acre from last month’s trend-based projection to a record 167.4 bushels. Excellent growing conditions in most corn areas support a record forecast production of 14,032 million bushels, breaking the 14-billion-bushel barrier for the first time. Seventy-three percent of the crop is rated good to excellent, compared with 64 percent last year at this time. Supplies for the 2014/15 marketing year are projected at a record 15,243 million bushels. This month’s 2014/15 total disappearance is projected up by 100 million bushels, with increases in feed and residual use, corn used for ethanol, and exports. Ending stocks are expected slightly higher, and the price received by farmers is reduced by 10 cents on both the high and low ends of the projected range to $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel.

Sorghum production in 2014/15 is increased by 19 million bushels this month to 429 million due to a 3-bushel-per-acre increase in expected yields. Per acre yield forecasts for Kansas and Texas are up 13 bushels and 5 bushels, respectively, over last year.

Increased world 2014/15 coarse grain supplies this month outstrip expected increases in use, boosting projected global ending stocks to 222 million tons, the highest in 15 years.

Domestic Outlook 

U.S. Feed Grain Production Projected at Record Levels

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Crop Production report, released on August 12th, provided the first survey-based yield forecast for the 2014/15 U.S. corn crop. The record high yield forecast of 167.4 bushels per acre is a result of excellent growing conditions throughout the growing area. This yield is the highest since the 164.7-bushel-per-acre yield of 2009/10. Last season’s yield was 158.8 bushels per acre. If realized, production on the 83.8 million acres expected to be harvested will reach a record 14,032 million bushels, besting last season’s crop, also a record, by 107 million bushels. Area harvested for grain is unchanged from the June forecast but is down 4 percent from 2013.

Illinois, Iowa, Arkansas, and Indiana are forecast to have the highest yields of the top 20 corn-producing States in 2014/15 at 188, 185, 180, and 179 bushels per acre, respectively. Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, and Minnesota are forecast to be the top corn producers, with production in each State exceeding 1.5 billion bushels. These four States are also expected to account for slightly more than half of U.S. production.

The NASS August 11th Crop Progress report indicated that 73 percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent, compared with 64 percent last year at this time. Among major producing States, Illinois had 82 percent and Iowa had 76 percent in the good-to-excellent range.

Corn Feed and Residual Use Up by 50 Million Bushels

The 2014/15 feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat on a September-August year is projected at 144.1 million tons, compared with 142.6 million forecast last month. The increase is due to increased feed and residual for corn, sorghum, barley, and wheat. For 2013/14, the feed and residual estimate for four feed grains plus wheat was raised to 137.1 million tons from last month’s 136.5 million. Total grain consuming animal units (GCAUs) are projected 0.6 million units lower than last month at 89.6 million due to livestock and poultry being fed to higher weights. GCAUs per ton of feed and residual are projected 1.6 tons per GCAU in 2014/15, unchanged from last month and incrementally higher than 2013/14.

Ethanol Boosts Food, Seed and Industrial Use

Food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use of corn is expected to total 6,505 million bushels for 2013/14. Fuel ethanol is projected to account for 79 percent of corn use for FSI. Forecast corn use for ethanol was increased 45 million bushels to 5,120 million from last month. Weekly Energy Information Administration reports have shown higher ethanol production in recent weeks. Margins have been favorable for ethanol producers as corn prices have been low and ethanol’s price relative to gasoline is favorable. Until recently, distillers’ dried grains (DDG) added significantly to profit margins, but prices for the feed product have fallen sharply as China expanded restrictions on DDG imports from the United States.

Corn used in 2013/14 for other FSI categories (starch, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and glucose and dextrose) are unchanged this month.

FSI use of corn in 2014/15 is projected at 6,460 million bushels this month, with ethanol expected to take the same share of corn as in 2013/14. This month, the corn use for ethanol forecast is raised 25 million bushels to 5,075 million in response to lower corn prices, improved profit margins, and improved export prospects due to tight ethanol supplies in Brazil.

Feed and Residual Use for 2014/15 Expected Higher

Projected corn feed and residual use for 2014/15 is 5,250 million bushels, up 50 million from last month. Production forecasts are raised for beef, pork, and broilers as lower feed prices encourage producers to raise animals to heavier weights.

Projected Exports Raised 25 Million Bushels for 2014/15

Corn exports for 2014/15 are projected 25 million bushels higher to 1,725 million. More of Argentina’s old-crop corn exports are expected to occur in 2013/14, creating additional opportunities for U.S. new-crop exports in 2014/15. Exports for the 2013/14 crop year are raised by 20 million bushels, reflecting year-to-date pace of shipments. At 1,920 million bushels, exports are 2.6 times the level reported for the drought-affected 2012/13 marketing year when just 730 million bushels were exported.

With 2014/15 corn supplies projected at 15,243 million bushels and projected total use of 13,435 million, carryout is expected to rise to 1,808 million, 627 million over expected ending stocks for 2013/14.

Back-Year Adjustments

Made Several minor changes to back-year corn balance sheet figures are made this month to imports, exports, and feed and residual use following revisions to official trade data by the U.S. Census Bureau. Imports are changed as follows: 29.373 (2011/12); 159.947 (2012/13), all in million bushels. Export figures are revised as follows: 1,830.925 (2010/11); 1,540.996 (2011/12); 730.082 (2012/13), also in million bushels. Revised feed and residual estimates in million bushels are now 4,798.229 (2010/11); 4,558.186 (2011/12); 4,324.734 (2012/13).

Corn Prices Slip on Higher 2014 Yield Forecast

The projected season-average farm price for corn is lowered 10 cents at both ends of the range to $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel. At the midpoint of $3.90 per bushel, farm prices are expected to be the lowest since the 2009/10 marketing year when corn brought $3.55 per bushel. The price range for the 2013/14 crop is tightened this month by $0.05 on the low and high end of the range to $4.40 and $4.50 per bushel.

Favorable Conditions Lift Sorghum Yields, Production

Favorable growing conditions have helped to lift U.S. sorghum yields from the June projection of 64.1 bushels per acre to 67.1 bushels per acre, an increase of 5 percent. Year-to-year yield gains have been significant in the major sorghum-producing States of Kansas and Texas, where projected yields have risen by 13 and 5 bushels per acre, respectively, on the year. Despite a 2-percent year-to-year decline in projected acres harvested, sorghum production is expected to exceed last year’s total by 10 percent and is currently pegged at 429 million bushels. At this level, the 2014/15 crop is anticipated to be the third largest crop since 2005, behind the 472 million bushels harvested in 2008 and the 497 million harvested in 2007.

The NASS Crop Progress report indicates that 65 percent of the crop grown in the top 11 sorghum-producing States had headed by the week ending August 10, 2014; 39-percent was coloring and 30 percent was mature. The sorghum crop is progressing slightly ahead of the 5-year average pace for both coloring and maturity. The Texas crop is a significant contributor to the relative acceleration of the pace of progress. Fully 82 percent of the Texas crop was considered mature, up from 64 percent for the previous year and 62 percent for the 5-year average. Approximately 46 percent of the Texas crop has now been harvested. Sugarcane aphid populations are noted to be an ongoing concern for producers in South East Texas.

Kansas sorghum crop progress is slightly behind the 5-year average, as well as the 2013/14 pace, likely a function of delayed planting as regional concerns about soil moisture adequacy caused some farmers to postpone seeding decisions. For the week ending on August 10, sorghum in Kansas was noted as 43 percent headed, behind 50 percent observed last year and 51 percent for the 5-year average. As more of the crop enters the grain formation stage, environmental conditions will influence head filling; for example, heat and dry weather during flower is suboptimal and will reduce grain fill. Accordingly, these weather conditions will also influence yields and may ultimately affect national yield figures.

This month, a handful of back-year changes have been made. Notably, 2013/14 exports are raised 15 million bushels to 205 million on the continued pace of shipments to China. At this time last year, a sizeable shipment to China had been rumored to be in the works but had not yet been documented in the U.S. Export Sales report. A calendar year later, exports to China account for a sizable proportion of 2013/14 shipments and serve to bolster prospects for trade in the 2014/15 marketing year. The 2014/15 export projection is 190 million bushels, an increase of 10 million relative to last month’s projection. The 2013/14 export increase is charged against ending stocks and results in a 15-million-bushel reduction in carry-in for 2014/15.

With the exception of the price range, which was narrowed to $4.20 per bushel on the low end of the range and $4.30 on the high end, no additional changes to 2013/14 crop year forecasts are made this month. Several slight updates to back-year exports and feed and residual use figures are made and reflect recently released trade revisions for calendar years 2011 through 2013. These include the following updates: Exports, 151.554 million bushels (2010/11), 63.410 million (2011/12), 76.291 million (2012/13); feed and residual use, 122.891 million bushels (2010/11), 70.636 (2011/1), 92.775 million (2012/13).

Projected sorghum prices received by farmers for 2014/15 are revised downward, from July, in response to a decline in expected corn prices. The prices are reduced by 10 cents on the low and high end of the range to $3.30 to $4.00 per bushel. The season-average price midpoint is projected to be $3.65 per bushel and approximately 93.6 percent of the 2014/15 season-average corn price. 

Barley Yield Gains in Major Production States Nudge National Yields Up

The 2014/15 U.S. barley yield forecast is boosted by 2 bushels per acre over last month’s forecast, to 73.2 bushels. Gains in the national figures are attributed to yield increases, relative to the July projection, in several States and most notably in Idaho (90.0 bushels per acre to 94.0) and Montana (60.0 to 63.0). These two States are collectively anticipated to harvest 52 percent of the Nation’s 2014/15 barley crop. Yields remained steady at 62.0 bushels per acre in North Dakota, which is expected to be the third largest barley-producing State in 2014.

No month-to-month changes in the area planted and harvested are made; thus, the yield increase alone results in a 5.3-million-bushel increase in forecast production. For 2014/15, 192.7 million bushels are expected to be harvested, down from 215.1 million for 2013/14. This month’s increased production, relative to the July forecast, is absorbed by the feed and residual category, which is raised 5 million bushels to 55 million. No changes to beginning stocks, imports, or other domestic use for 2014/15 are made; consequently the balance of the production increase, 0.33 million bushels, is added to ending stocks. Ending stocks are now forecast at 80.7 million bushels, a slight reduction relative to last year’s figure and below the 5-year average of 85.45 million.

Slightly increased projected barley supplies, in combination with more sizable boosts in corn and sorghum production forecasts, support this month’s $0.05-per-bushel reduction in the projected 2014/15 midpoint price for barley to $4.75 per bushel. The season-average all-barley price is a weighted combination of both feed and malt barley prices, and, thus, fluctuations in prices in both markets have the potential to affect the all barley price.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s Statistical Report on Beer indicates year-to-date production is 80.2 million barrels and slightly higher than the same time last year when 79.7 million barrels had been produced. Use of malt products is down slightly from 1.65 billion pounds to 1.59 billion; however, barely utilization is up from 51.4 million pounds (approximately 1.1 million bushels) to 61.3 million (1.3 million bushels). These figures are not trade-adjusted and are inclusive of imported barley products for beer production. The net effect of brewing and distilling industry dynamics, including fluctuating trade, growth in the craft beer sector, and declines in whisky production, continue to be watch points.

Several slight updates to back-year import, export, and feed and residual use figures were made this month, following the release of revised trade figures for years 2011 through 2013. The changes for barely are as follows: Imports, 23.290 million bushels (2012/13), 18.742 million (2013/14); exports, 8.857 million bushels (2012/13), 14.268 million (2013/14); feed and residual use, 59.307 million bushels (2012/13), 62.928 million (2013/14).

Oats Production Nudged Upward

Similar to other small grains, the 2014/15 U.S. oats yield forecast is nudged upward this month by 1.5 bushels per acre to 67.0 bushels, 3 bushes higher than in 2013/14. Production is correspondingly increased by about 2 percent from last month to 77.3 million bushels, an increase of 17 percent over 2013/14. Area planted to oats is projected at 3.03 million acres, of which farmers expect to harvest 1.15 million acres, or 38 percent of planted area, for grain. If realized, the 2014/15 harvested-to-planted ratio is 4 percentage points higher than in 2013/14 and on par with the 5-year average.

The national increase in oats yields, with particular gains made in Minnesota (57.0 bushels per acre up to 62.0 bushels) and South Dakota (80.0 bushels per acre up to 87 bushels), contribute to a 1.76 million bushel increase in U.S. oats production. The 2014/15 figure, at 77.27 million bushels, is up 2 percent from last month and up 17 percent from the 2013/14 estimate of 65.88 million. Projected ending stocks are increased by the full amount of the production gain, and no changes are made to projected use. Back-year revisions include slight changes to import, feed and residual use, and export estimates and are as follows: Imports, 92.861 million bushels (2012/13), 97.230 million (2013/14); feed and residual use, 81.933 million bushels (2011/12), 98.182 million (2012/13), 98.157 million (2013/14); exports, 2.425 million bushels (2011/12), 1.355 million (2012/13), and 1.568 million (2013/14).

The August 11 Crop Progress report indicates that a slight majority (52 percent) of the U.S. oats crop for 2014/15 had been harvested. This is 12 points behind the 5-year average and just slightly ahead of the weather-delayed crop of 2013/14. Six of the nine major oats-producing States were behind their 5-year harvest pace for the week ending August 10, 2014, including Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. In North Dakota, from which an estimated 11.3 percent of the U.S. harvested acres is projected to be cultivated, the harvest was 3 percent complete, behind the 9 percent harvested by the same time last year and well behind the 5-year average of 22 percent.

The midpoint of the 2014/15 oats season-average farm price is projected at $2.95 per bushel with a range of $2.65 to $3.25 per bushel and is unchanged from the July projection.

Alfalfa Production Up, Supports Expanded All Hay Production

A 2-percent increase in area harvested and an 8-percent increase in yields, relative to the 2013 estimate, lift the alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures production figure from 57.6 million tons to 63.6 million for 2014 and provide support for the all-hay production forecast of 140.8 million tons. Other hay production is down 2 percent from 2013, with production currently forecast at 77.2 million tons, down from 78.4 million realized in 2013. All other hay yields are expected to be up slightly, 1.96 tons per acre in 2014 as compared to 1.94 tons in 2013; however, all other hay harvested area declined in several States, resulting in a net loss of approximately 1 million acres, or 3 percent, from the previous year. Harvested area forecasts are unchanged from June for alfalfa and mixtures and other hay.

In the West, drought has reduced alfalfa production in Oregon, Washington, and Utah, though much of the rest of the country has experienced cooler-than-average temperatures and good moisture that has created generally favorable growing conditions. For all other hay, with the exception of Far Western States, similarly favorable weather conditions have supported production projections. According to the August 12 NASS Crop Production report, several States, including Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Wyoming, are expected to harvest record alfalfa yields in 2014.

Pasture and range conditions for the week ending August 10 indicate that fully 50 percent of acres were rated as “good” to “excellent,” an increase of 5 percent over the previous year. A smaller proportion of acres, 18 percent, are rated as “very poor” to “poor” in the most recent Crop Progress report; in 2013, 28 percent of acres were rated as less than “fair” for the similar time period. The improved condition of the Nation’s pastures and ranges provides validation for the projected hay yield increases for 2014.

Despite the expectation that all hay production in 2014 will be improved over production in 2013 (140.8 million tons, compared to 135.9 million), the July all-hay price, at $192 per ton, is slightly higher than the $190 per ton growers reported in July 2013. The increase is attributable to alfalfa prices, which at $216 per ton for July 2014, are $7 per ton higher than for the same month in 2013. Industry sources have attributed the observed price level to inflation, noting that prices for many farm goods are higher than those of a year ago. Previous Feed Outlooks have also reported on price support from the dairy regions of the drought-affected West that are seeking, and paying premiums for, hay, and especially alfalfa, that is sourced from Northwestern States and other regions.

International Outlook

World Coarse Grain Production Prospects Increased This Month

Generally favorable growing conditions persisted across most of the Northern Hemisphere, more than offsetting production problems resulting from a delayed monsoon in India. Global coarse grain production in 2014/15 is projected to reach 1,267.8 million tons, up 6.6 million this month. Most of the increase is for U.S. production, but foreign prospects are also increased, up 1.6 million tons to 895.0 million. Foreign corn production changes are mostly offsetting, with the total up 0.1 million tons to 629.0 million, but foreign barley production is bumped 3.6 million tons to 131.5 million. Foreign oats and mixed grain production are projected up slightly this month. However, foreign millet is cut 1.0 million tons to 30.4 million, foreign sorghum is reduced 0.8 million tons to 52.9 million, and foreign rye is down 0.5 million tons to 14.6 million.

This month, the largest change in projected foreign coarse grain production is for India, down 2.7 million tons to 39.0 million. The delayed onset of the monsoon prevented timely planting of corn, millet, and sorghum. Reported planting progress is behind enough that original planting intentions are not likely to be reached. Projected harvested area is cut 0.4 million hectares for corn, 0.5 million for millet, and 0.7 million for sorghum. Good rains in July support mostly unchanged yield prospects. Production is reduced 1.0 million tons each for corn and millet and 0.7 million tons for sorghum.

Corn yield prospects are reduced this month for Turkey and Chile. Heavy winds and rain from thunderstorms in Turkey damaged some corn fields, reducing projected production 0.3 million tons to 4.6 million. For Chile, lower corn yields reported for 2013/14 trimmed trend yields anticipated for 2014/15, reducing production slightly. Increased coarse grain prospects in several countries more than offsets the reductions in a few countries.

Russia’s barley production for 2014/15 is raised 2.0 million tons to 18.5 million. Harvest reports indicate strong yields. Some problems with the compilation of rainfall data made dryness in some areas appear more extensive than was the case, especially around Rostov and some of the Volga. Most areas actually had good soil moisture and reasonable temperatures.

EU coarse grain production prospects are up 1.8 million tons to 155.9 million. Abundant rain and mild temperatures prevailed for July, especially across most of Southern Europe. Corn went through critical reproductive stages under favorable conditions, boosting production prospects 1.4 million tons to 67.0 million. The largest increases are for Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy. EU barley production is increased 0.3 million tons to 56.2 million, with improved prospects in France more than offsetting a reduction in Spain. There are small increases for projected oats, mixed grain, and sorghum production but a small reduction for rye.

Ukraine’s coarse grain production prospects are up 0.4 million tons to 36.5 million. Corn production is unchanged, with growing conditions mostly favorable. Harvest reports reveal increased barley yields, boosting production 0.4 million tons to 8.2 million. Small increases in production for oats and rye are offset by a decline in sorghum (reduced area).

The historical series for Belarus coarse grain production is revised back to 2010/11, with prospects for 2014/15 raised 0.3 million tons to 4.6 million. Based mostly on revised area, barley production is raised 0.7 million tons this month, but rye is cut 0.5 million and oats has a small increase.

China’s barley and oats production are raised slightly based on revised historical data, boosting coarse grains production 0.2 million tons to 228.8 million. South Africa’s barley production is slightly increased.

Global Revisions for 2013/14 Shift 2014/15 Beginning Stocks

World coarse grain production for 2013/14 is estimated down 0.8 million tons this month but remains record large at 1,274.3 million. The largest revision is for Belarus, down 1.1 million tons to 3.8 million, with most of the reduction in rye. The EU and Chile are each reduced 0.2 million tons due to lower reported corn production. For the EU, an increase in mixed grain production limits the overall decline in coarse grain output. These reductions are partly offset by increased corn production for Mexico and South Africa.

Global coarse grain consumption for 2013/14 is increased, mostly reflecting higher use for the United States. Reduced U.S. ending stocks for 2013/14 (2014/15 beginning stocks) limit this month’s increase in 2014/15 supplies. Changes to foreign supply and demand for 2013/14 increase imports more than the production decline and boost 2014/15 beginning stocks 0.3 million tons to 174.6 million. The 2014/15 foreign production increase, added to the beginning stocks, boosts foreign supplies 2.0 million tons this month.

World 2014/15 Projected Use Up Less Than Production, Boosting Stocks

Global 2014/15 coarse grain total use is projected up 2.3 million tons this month to 1,253.1 million. Most of the increase is in the United States, with foreign disappearance up only 0.1 million tons to 942.2 million. Foreign feed and residual is down slightly to 613.7 million tons.

EU coarse grain use in 2014/15 is projected down 2.5 million tons this month as a significant portion of the wheat crop was damaged by rain during the harvest, downgrading it to feed quality. Wheat feeding is expected to displace coarse grains, with corn feed use cut 2.0 million tons to 55.5 million and barley feed use trimmed 0.5 million tons to 35.0 million.

India’s coarse grain projected use is cut 1.6 million tons to 37.8 million due to reduced production prospects. Corn, millet, and sorghum food use are each cut 0.5 million tons, while sorghum feed use is also trimmed 0.1 million.

Increased 2014/15 coarse grain use is projected this month for Turkey, up 0.8 million tons, with increased barley use prospects more than offsetting a small reduction in corn; for Egypt, up 0.6 million tons, as large corn imports at the end of 2013/14 boost stocks for use in 2014/15; for Russia, up 0.6 million tons, supported by a much larger barley crop; and for South Africa, up 0.4 million tons, as increased 2013 corn production boosts 2014/15 supplies and poultry feed use supports an increase in corn feed use of almost 4 percent year to year. There are smaller increases in projected coarse grain use for Algeria, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Argentina but small reductions for Belarus and Chile.

World 2014/15 coarse grain supplies are projected up more than use, boosting ending stocks 2.7 million tons this month to 222.1 million, the highest in 15 years.With U.S. projected stocks down slightly this month, foreign ending stocks are projected up 2.7 million tons to 173.1 million, a decline of 1.6 million from a year earlier. With supplies abundant and prices declining, most foreign countries are not expected to increase stockholding of coarse grains. However, with bin-buster crops, some countries are expected to hold increased stocks.

EU 2014/15 coarse grain ending stocks are forecast up 2.2 million tons to 14.8 million. Increased production and reduced feed use due to cheap feed wheat combine to boost stocks. Russia’s coarse grain stocks are projected up 1.3 million tons this month to 3.7 million. The large barley crop supports increased stocks. Saudi Arabia’s ending stocks are projected up 0.6 million tons to 3.9 million, supported by the strong pace of imports both in 2013/14 and projected for 2014/15. For Argentina, reduced 2013/14 sorghum export prospects are reflected in increased stock holdings, raising projected 2014/15 coarse grain ending stocks 0.3 million tons to 6.5 million. Partly offsetting are reduced stocks projected for India, down 1.1 million tons to 1.3 million due to reduced production; and for Egypt, down 0.3 million tons to 2.0 million. Smaller changes for other countries are mostly offsetting.

World 2014/15 Coarse Grain Trade Prospects Trimmed Slightly

Global coarse grain trade in 2014/15 (October-September) is projected to reach 148.2 million tons, down 0.5 million this month. Corn trade is reduced 1.0 million tons to 117.1 million, but barley trade is increased 0.4 million to 20.7 million and sorghum trade is increased slightly to 7.7 million. World barley trade changes reflect increased production and export prospects for Russia and Ukraine. Barley import prospects are raised for Turkey.

Corn trade prospects for 2014/15 are reduced by lower EU imports, down 2.0 million tons to 11.0 million. With abundant supplies of competitively priced feed-quality wheat available domestically and from Ukraine, the demand for imported corn will decline from the previous year’s high level. Other changes to projected imports partly offset the EU reduction and reflect the attractiveness of corn prices. Turkey’s imports are increased 0.5 million tons to 2.5 million due to reduced corn production prospects and generally tight grain supplies. Saudi imports are raised 0.4 million tons to 2.9 million based on the pace of purchases. Smaller increases are forecast this month for Taiwan, Lebanon, and Algeria.

U.S. Corn and Sorghum Export Prospects Increase

Prospects for U.S. 2014/15 corn exports are raised 1.0 million tons this month to 44.0 million (up 25 million bushels to 1,725 million for the September-August local marketing year). Increased U.S. supplies and revisions to the timing of Argentina’s exports support increased prospects despite lagging early-season export sales. Outstanding new-crop sales for 2014/15 reached 7.7 million tons on July 31, 2014, down from 9.3 million a year ago. However, sales later in the trade year are expected to increase. Competition from Argentina’s 2013/14 corn crop is expected to fall more into the 2013/14 trade year, with recent sales supporting Argentina’s shipment prospects for August and September 2014. While Argentina’s 2013/14 trade year exports are increased 1.5 million tons this month to 11.0 million, that corn is not expected to move in 2014/15, supporting a 2.0-million-ton cut in 2014/15 exports to 15.0 million. Argentina’s local marketing year export prospects are unchanged this month.

U.S. sorghum export prospects for trade year 2014/15 are increased 0.1 million tons this month to 4.6 million (up 10 million bushels to 190 million bushels for the September-August marketing year). Increased U.S. supplies and attractive prices at ports support export prospects. Sudan’s imports are projected up 0.1 million tons to 0.2 million. Large sales to China and the rapid pace of recent shipments support export prospects, but rumors of China possibly increasing phytosanitary barriers to sorghum imports increase uncertainty.

Record 2013/14 Coarse Grain Trade Gets Bigger, U.S. Exports Increased

World coarse grain trade in 2013/14 is forecast to reach a record 153.8 million tons, up 3.7 million this month, as attractive prices encourage imports. Corn trade is forecast up 2.7 million tons to 122.7 million; barley trade is up 0.8 million to 21.0 million; and sorghum trade is increased 0.2 million to 7.3 million.

The pace of recent purchases and actual shipments support increases to expected 2013/14 corn imports for several countries. Egypt and the EU have been importing at a strong pace, boosting import prospects 1.0 million tons each to 8.0 million and 15.5 million, respectively. Smaller increases in corn imports this month are forecast for Indonesia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Lebanon, and Algeria. Partly offsetting are declines for Mexico, down 0.8 million tons to 10.7 million; for Turkey, down 0.3 million to 1.2 million; and for the United States, down 0.1 million to 0.7 million.

U.S. 2013/14 corn exports are forecast up 1.0 million tons to 49.0 million (up 20 million bushels to 1.92 billion bushels for the September-August marketing year). Census corn exports for October 2013 through June 2014 reached 37.8 million tons, and July grain inspections for corn were 4.4 million. The forecast assumes a significant slowdown in export shipments in August and September, compared to shipments in May through June that faced less competition from Brazil.

Argentina’s sales and shipments in recent weeks have accelerated, supporting an increase of 1.5 million tons to 11.0 million for 2013/14 exports. Canada’s export pace supports a 0.3-million-ton increase to 1.5 million, but Mexico’s corn exports are reduced slightly.

U.S. sorghum exports for 2013/14 are increased 0.3 million tons to 5.3 million (up 15 million bushels to 205 million bushels for the September-August marketing year). Census exports for October 2013 through June 2014 were 3.4 million tons, and July inspections reached 0.7 million. At the end of July, outstanding old-crop sales were over 1.0 million tons. Grain inspections for the first week of August were also strong.

Published by USDA Economic Research Service

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