Blogging by the Bushel
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CORN

U.S. feed grain ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected higher this month as lower expected exports outweigh an increase in projected domestic usage. Corn exports are projected 50 million bushels lower based on the sluggish pace of sales and shipments to date and prospects for more competition from Brazil. Corn use for ethanol production is unchanged, but corn use for sweeteners and starch is raised 20 million bushels, boosting projected food, seed, and industrial use. Projected corn ending stocks are raised 30 million bushels. The projected range for the season-average farm price for corn is lowered 20 cents at the midpoint and narrowed to $6.75 to $7.65 per bushel. Reported monthly prices received by farmers to date continue to reflect forward sales made at prices below prevailing cash market bids.

Usage changes for 2012/13 are also made this month for sorghum and barley. Sorghum feed and residual use is projected 25 million bushels lower, but offset by a 20-million-bushel increase in food, seed, and industrial use and a 5-million-bushel increase in exports. Projected barley exports are lowered 1 million bushels, based on indications of slower-than-expected shipments. Barley ending stocks are increased by the same amount. The projected range for the sorghum farm price is lowered 15 cents at the midpoint and narrowed to $6.70 to $7.60 per bushel. The barley farm price range is narrowed 5 cents on each end to $6.15 to $6.65 per bushel.

Global coarse grain supplies for 2012/13 are projected 2.1 million tons higher as a decrease in beginning stocks is more than offset by a 2.9-million-ton increase in production. Lower 2012/13 beginning stocks mostly reflect an increase in 2011/12 corn exports for Brazil and revisions to the Paraguay corn series that lower 2011/12 corn area and yield.

Global 2012/13 corn production is raised 2.1 million tons with increases for Brazil, Mexico, India, and Ukraine more than offsetting a reduction for Argentina. Brazil production is raised 1.5 million tons based on higher reported area and yields for the first-season crop and good early prospects for second-season corn. Mexico production is increased 0.8 million tons with higher reported area for the summer crop. Production is raised 0.6 million tons for India on higher area as indicated by the latest sowing progress reports. Ukraine production is increased 0.4 million tons on higher reported yields. Argentina production is lowered 1.0 million tons as persistent dryness in January and early February lowers yield prospects, particularly for late-planted corn.

Global 2012/13 production is also higher this month for sorghum, barley, oats, and rye. Sorghum production is raised 0.4 million tons for Mexico with higher area and yields for the summer crop, but lowered 0.2 million tons for Australia with reduced prospects for area and yields. Global barley, oats, and rye production are up a combined 0.6 million tons on larger reported crops for the FSU-12 countries.

Global coarse grain trade for 2012/13 is higher mostly reflecting increased imports of barley for Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Tunisia and higher sorghum imports for Mexico and Japan. World corn imports and exports are raised only slightly, but significant shifts are made among countries. Corn imports are raised for EU-27 and China, but lowered for Egypt, Syria, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia. Corn exports are raised for Brazil and Ukraine, but lowered for the United States and Argentina. Global corn consumption for 2012/13 is lowered with a reduction in world feed and residual usage. Corn feed and residual use is lowered 2.0 million tons for Brazil, 1.0 million tons for Egypt, and 0.4 million tons for Argentina, but raised 2.0 million tons for EU-27 and 0.5 million tons for China. Global corn ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected 2.1 million tons higher with the largest increases expected for Brazil and the United States.

SOYBEANS

U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 125 million bushels, down 10 million from last month due to increased crush. Soybean crush is raised 10 million bushels to 1.615 billion reflecting both larger soybean meal exports and domestic use. Strong U.S. soybean meal exports during the first half of the marketing year are partly offsetting declining shipments from Argentina where crushing has slowed due to limited soybean supplies. Domestic soybean meal use is raised in line with projected gains in meat production. Soybean oil production is raised on higher soybean crush and a higher soybean oil extraction rate. Soybean oil exports are projected at 2.3 billion pounds, up 150 million from last month as sales continue stronger than expected. Soybean oil used for methyl ester is unchanged this month despite relatively low use during the first quarter of the marketing year. Production and use are expected to expand in coming months due to the higher mandate for 2013. Soybean oil stocks are projected at 1.665 billion pounds, up 125 million.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2012/13 is projected at $13.55 to $15.05 per bushel, up 5 cents on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $430 to $460 per short ton, unchanged from last month. The soybean oil price projection is also unchanged at 49 to 53 cents per pound.

Global oilseed production for 2012/13 is projected at 466.9 million tons, up 1.1 million from last month. Global soybean production is raised fractionally to 269.5 million tons as improved production prospects in Brazil offset deteriorating conditions in Argentina. Soybean production for Brazil is projected at a record 83.5 million tons, up 1 million from last month due to higher yields resulting from improved moisture in the center-west. Prospects for the Argentina soybean crop have diminished in recent weeks due to an extended period of dry weather. As a result, the crop is projected at 53 million tons, down 1 million from last month. Global sunflowerseed production is projected at 36.4 million tons, up 0.5 million due to gains for Russia and Kazakhstan. Other changes include increased peanut and cottonseed production for China, and reduced cottonseed production for Pakistan, Mexico, and Turkey.

Global oilseed and product supply and use changes this month include reduced soybean crush and soybean meal exports for Argentina, reduced soybean meal imports for EU-27, increased rapeseed crush and rapeseed meal consumption for EU-27, and increased sunflowerseed crush in Russia. Global oilseed stocks are projected higher, mostly reflecting higher soybean stocks in Brazil.

WHEAT

U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected 25 million bushels lower this month with higher expected feed and residual disappearance. Feed and residual use is projected 25 million bushels higher as weaker cash prices relative to corn support opportunities for increased wheat use in livestock and poultry rations. Feed and residual use is raised 10 million bushels each for Hard Red Winter (HRW) and Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat, and raised 5 million bushels for White wheat. Projected all-wheat exports are unchanged, but HRW and Hard Red Spring wheat are lowered 25 million bushels and 5 million bushels, respectively. Offsetting these reductions are projected increases in SRW and White wheat exports of 25 million bushels and 5 million bushels, respectively. By-class export changes largely reflect the pace of sales and shipments to date. The projected season-average farm price for wheat is narrowed 5 cents on both ends of the range to $7.70 to $8.10 per bushel.

Global wheat supplies for 2012/13 are nearly unchanged with a small increase in beginning stocks more than offsetting a small decrease in production. Global wheat output is projected 0.7 million tons lower. Production is lowered for Kazakhstan and Brazil, but raised for Ukraine, South Africa, and Belarus.

Global wheat trade for 2012/13 is trimmed slightly. Imports are lowered 0.5 million tons for Morocco, 0.3 million tons for Saudi Arabia, and 0.2 million tons each for Israel, South Africa, and Vietnam. Imports are raised 0.6 million tons for South Korea, 0.5 million tons for Iran, and 0.2 million tons for Brazil. Exports are raised 0.5 million tons for EU-27, but reduced 0.5 million tons for Kazakhstan and 0.3 million tons for Brazil. Lower exports for Brazil and Kazakhstan reflect smaller crops, while the increase in South Korea imports supports higher wheat feeding. Wheat feed and residual use is also raised for Ukraine. Wheat feed and residual use is lowered for EU-27, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and Israel. Global wheat consumption is virtually unchanged at 673.4 million tons; however, global consumption is projected down 24.6 million tons year to year, mostly reflecting lower feed and residual use in 2012/13. World wheat ending stocks for 2012/13 are also nearly unchanged this month at 176.7 million tons. Lower projected ending stocks in the United States and Morocco are offset by higher stocks in Iran, South Korea, and Ukraine.

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