USDA blew the cobwebs off its calculators and forecast a 14.8 billion bushel corn crop for 2012, helped by a 5.1 million acre increase in corn and a record 166 bushel yield average. With increased demand for corn all around, there will still be a 1.9 billion bushel carryout at the end of the marketing year in August 2013.
For the new crop total use will be up 9% from the old crop, based on higher use for feed and exports, along with sweeteners and starches. Corn used for ethanol is expected to remain flat. Even with the nearly 2 billion bushel carryout, USDA is forecasting the season average price from $4.20 to $5 per bushel, but that is down sharply from the $6.10 expected for the current crop. Specifically, feed use is forecast at 5.450 billion, ethanol at 5.0 billion, exports at 1.9 billion, and ending stocks at 1.881 billion. Compared to the old crop, total use is projected more than 1.1 billion bushels higher.
For the old crop, ending stocks were pushed higher by USDA to 851 million bushels because of slower use in feed and residual, along with the expected increased use of wheat for livestock feeding. Additionally, there will be increased corn availability at the end of the current marketing year because of the early planting and expected early harvest of the new crop. USDA says that will displace old crop usage and boost carryout. Specifically, feed use from the old crop is estimated at 4.55 billion, ethanol at 5.0 billion, and exports at 1.7 billion, with the 851 million carryout.
Globally, corn production for 2012-13 is projected to increase by 75 million tons, setting a record for production for the 6th consecutive year. Compared to the expected 946 million ton production, consumption is forecast at 921 million tons. That leaves global ending stocks at the highest level in more than a decade.
USDA forecast new crop soybean production at 3.205 billion bushels, up 200 million from last year because of higher yields in the face of lower planted acreage. The soybean yield was forecast at 43.9 bushels up 2.4 bushels per acre from last year. The crush was projected at 1.655 billion bushels, about the same as the current marketing year, but exports are forecast at 1.505 billion up 190 million from the current year to fill the shortfall from South American production. Total soybean use is projected at 3.285 billion, compared to 3.076 for the current crop. USDA placed ending stocks at 145 million bushels, down 65 million from the current year, and said the season average price would range from $12 to $14 per bushel.