US Feed Outlook - April 2010

Corn ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected higher this month as 1 March stocks indicated lower feed and residual use in the second quarter than forecast earlier, according to the USDA Economic Research Service.
calendar icon 13 April 2010
clock icon 13 minute read

Feed and residual use is also lowered for sorghum and oats as the March 1 stocks indicated lower-than-expected disappearance during the December-February quarter. Marketing year average prices received by farmers for corn, sorghum, and oats are unchanged this month, while all barley prices are increased slightly. World coarse grain beginning stocks and production for 2009/10 are increased this month, boosting ending stocks, especially for corn in the United States and Brazil.

Domestic Use of Feed Grains Down in 2009/10

Supplies of feed grains for 2009/10 remained unchanged this month at 398.9 million metric tons, up from 373.7 million in 2008/09. Total use of feed grains is projected at 345.7 million tons, down by 2.9 million from last month due to decreases in feed and residual use for corn, sorghum, and oats and lower food, seed, and industrial use of barley. This is a result of lower-than-expected December- February disappearance as indicated by the March 1 stocks. The decrease in total feed grain use raises 2009/10 ending stocks by 2.9 million tons to 53.2 million this month. In 2008/09, feed grain ending stocks were 47 million tons.

Feed and residual use of feed grains and wheat converted to a September-August marketing year decreased this month by 2.8 million tons at 149.9 million. Grain consuming animal units (GCAU) are projected at 92.17 million this month, versus last month’s 92.3 million units. This month, the lower pig crop more than offset higher poultry numbers. The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report, released on March 26, indicated a smaller-than-expected March 1 inventory. Feed and residual use per animal unit is 1.63 tons, down from 1.65 tons last month.

Corn Feed and Residual Use Lowered

Corn supplies for 2009/10 remain unchanged this month. Total corn utilization is projected down 100 million bushels to 12,915 million, up from 12,056 million in 2008/09.

Feed and residual use for 2009/10 is forecast down 100 million bushels this month to 5,450 million. This is a result of the record January ethanol production and March 1 stocks that indicated lower-than-expected disappearance during the December-February quarter. Feed and residual use for the first half of the 2009/10 marketing year, September-February, totaled 3,496 million bushels, compared with 3,570 million bushels in the same period of 2008/09.

FSI use for 2009/10 is projected at 5,565 million bushels, unchanged from last month. In thr first half of 2009/10, corn used for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was down 3 per cent from the 217.6 million bushels used in 2008/09. Corn used for HFCS is expected to increase seasonally over the next few months but end the marketing year down 1.3 per cent from 2008/09. Corn used to make glucose and dextrose was down five per cent in the first half of the marketing year and is expected to be down 2.2 per cent for the year. Corn used for starch is projected down slightly for 2009/10 as declining demand for construction materials and paper products reduce demand for starch. In the first half of 2009/10, corn used for starch totaled 114 million bushels, down from 116 million in 2008/09.

Projected corn use for ethanol is unchanged from last month at 4,300 million bushels for 2009/10. Ethanol production data are incomplete for the first half of the marketing year, as February data have not been released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Monthly ethanol production for January 2010 (the latest available data) was record high at 818,000 barrels per day. Ethanol corn use for February was estimated using weekly EIA data for gasoline blended with alcohol and indications of ethanol plants currently operating. This February estimate combined with reported monthly ethanol production indicates that September- February corn use was up 21 per cent from the 1.77 billion bushels used in the first half of 2008/09. Poor margins for ethanol producers and rising ethanol stocks limit near-term growth in production despite strong price incentives for blending with a large discount for ethanol compared with gasoline. The lack of growth in gasoline consumption is likely constraining ethanol use.

Corn exports for 2009/10 are projected at 1,900 million bushels, unchanged from last month, but up 42 million from the previous year. Corn ending stocks for 2009/10 are projected 100 million bushels higher at 1,899 million. This is up from 1,673 million bushels in 2008/09. The season-average corn price projection is narrowed 5 cents on both ends of the range to $3.50-$3.70 per bushel, compared with $4.06 per bushel in 2008/09.

Sorghum FSI Use Prospects Increase

Sorghum supplies remain unchanged this month. Total use for 2009/10 is also unchanged at 390 million bushels. Lower projected feed and residual use is offset by an increase in food, seed, and industrial use.

Sorghum feed and residual use is lowered by 10 million bushels due to lower-than-expected December-February disappearance as indicated by the March 1 stocks. Food, seed, and industrial use is raised 10 million bushels, to 100 million this month. This reflects strong demand for sorghum by ethanol producers in the Southern and Central Plains, which is supporting prices and limiting opportunities for sorghum feeding.

Projected ending stocks for 2009/10 remain unchanged at 48 million bushels, down from 55 million last year. Prices received by farmers for sorghum in 2009/10 are expected to average $3.10 to $3.30 per bushel, compared with $3.05 to $3.35 last month.

Barley FSI Use Lowered

Barley supplies remain unchanged this month. Total use in 2009/10 is forecast down 5 million bushels, to 220 million. Food, seed, and industrial use is down 5 million bushels to 165 million. This decline in FSI use is based on lower-than-expected December-February disappearance as indicated by the March 1 stocks, due to lower malt exports and beer consumption. Projected ending stocks are raised 5 million bushels to 116 million. This is up from 89 million bushels in 2008/09.

Prices received by farmers for barley in 2009/10 are expected to average $4.50 to $4.60 per bushel, compared with $4.40 to $4.60 last month. Barley prices are down from the record $5.37 in 2008/09. Prices received by farmers reflect prices for both malting barley and feed barley. Marketings for 2009/10 reflect a larger-than-normal share of higher priced malting barley.

Oats Feed and Residual Use Declines

Oat supplies remain unchanged this month. Total use in 2009/10 is forecast at 188 million bushels, a decrease of 15 million from last month due to lower projected feed and residual use based on lower-than-expected December-February disappearance. The season-average farm price is unchanged at $1.95 to $2.05 per bushel.

Southern Hemisphere Corn Prospects Boost Coarse Grain Production

Global coarse grain production is projected up 2.7 million tons this month to 1,102.8 million, due mostly to improved prospects for corn production in Brazil, South Africa, and Ecuador. World corn production is forecast up 2.0 million tons this month to a record 805.7 million, while barley is up 0.4 million tons to 148.0 million and sorghum is increased 0.3 million tons to 63.2 million.

Corn production prospects for Brazil in 2009/10 are increased 2.5 million tons this month to 53.5 million based on improved yield prospects. Harvest of the main-season crop is mostly done, but continues in Rio Grande do Sul. Main-crop area is reduced from the previous year as expected returns to corn production were not as good as for soybeans. However, harvest reports confirm record yields in many states. Planting of the second-crop corn is virtually complete and an increase in area is confirmed, especially in Mato Grosso. The early planting of second-crop corn in Mato Grosso, favorable rains during March and the first weeks of April, and current abundant soil moisture support yield prospects for second-crop corn. Brazil’s 2009/10 national average corn yield is projected to exceed 4.0 tons per hectare for the first time. However, continued rain during April and into May will be crucial in determining final second-crop yields.

South Africa’s corn crop is increased 0.5 million tons this month to 14.0 million. Favorable March and early April rains, especially in late developing western parts of the maize triangle, have boosted yield prospects to nearly match the previous year’s record. The projected crop is the largest in 30 years, and the second-largest on record. The ongoing ‘El Nino’ in the Pacific has not caused dryness in the maize triangle as expected, but drier-than-normal conditions have been concentrated to the north and southeast, outside the main corn areas.

Ecuador has reported a sharp increase in corn area, more than offsetting a modest reduction in average yield. Production is up 0.4 million tons this month to 0.9 million. Smaller increases in corn production this month are based on improved yields reported for Turkey and Afghanistan and a small increase in area for Syria.

Partly offsetting the aforementioned corn production increases are reductions reported for several countries. Mexico’s corn production is cut 0.7 million tons to 21.3 million. Both harvested area and yield are reduced this month as below-normal rains during 2009 had more effect than previously estimated. In Venezuela, drought in some regions reduced corn area, more than offsetting slightly better-than-expected yields. Corn production is reduced 0.45 million tons this month to 1.35 million. There were also smaller 2009/10 corn production reductions this month for North Korea, Thailand, Iraq, Peru, and Burma.

Argentina’s sorghum production is increased 0.4 million tons this month to 4.2 million as favorable rains have boosted yield prospects. Mexico’s sorghum prospects are increased this month based on recent good rains in Tamaulipas, but drought in Venezuela trimmed prospects there. Barley production in Syria is increased 0.35 million tons to 0.85 million as increased reported area more than offset lower-than-expected yields.

Increased Beginning Stocks Boost 2009/10 Supplies

Global beginning stocks of coarse grain in 2009/10 are estimated up 2.4 million tons this month, to 193.0 million. The increase in stocks is almost as large as the production increase. Thailand’s corn beginning stocks are up 0.8 million tons to 1.1 million, as 2008/09 estimated production and imports are increased, while feed use is trimmed. Mexico’s 2009/10 sorghum beginning stocks are increased 0.8 million tons to 1.3 million due to an increase in reported 2008/09 production of a like amount. Argentina’s 2009/10 coarse grain beginning stocks are increased 0.6 million tons to 1.6 million based on historical revisions to production and consumption for barley, corn, sorghum, and oats. Production estimates were revised to better approach yields reported by Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture. For barley, estimated exports and domestic use (based on beer consumption and malt exports) exceed supplies consistent with production estimated by the Ministry. The conversion of pasture to cropland in recent years is assumed to have exceeded levels previously estimated, boosting production and stocks. There are smaller increases to corn beginning stocks this month for Iran, Malaysia, Algeria, Venezuela, and Iraq. These increases more than offset reductions for Brazil, India, Colombia, Syria, Israel, Ukraine, Burma, and Turkey.

World Consumption Projection Little Changed, Ending Stocks Increase

Global coarse grain disappearance is up 0.2 million tons this month to 1,105.8 million. Most of the changes in projected use by country are offsetting. The largest consumption increase is for Brazil, up 1.0 million tons with large corn supplies and increasing meat production. Corn feed demand is boosting projected coarse grain use in Egypt by 0.8 million tons. With large corn production in South Africa, both feed and food use projections are increased, raising use 0.6 million tons. The larger crop in Ecuador is expected to increase use 0.4 million tons. Argentina’s coarse grain use is up 0.4 million tons this month, mostly due to increased estimates for barley used in malt and a small increase in sorghum feed. Australia is projected to feed more and export less barley, increasing barley feed 0.4 million tons. There are smaller increases in coarse grain use for Chile, Afghanistan, Thailand, Iran, and Morocco.

The largest reduction in projected coarse grain use this month is for the United States, down 2.9 million tons. Mexico’s coarse grain consumption is projected down 0.8 million tons, with a 1.4-million-ton reduction for corn partly offset by a 0.6-million-ton increase in sorghum. Venezuela’s forecast use is reduced 0.45 million tons, with reduced production of corn and sorghum. Burma’s corn use is trimmed 0.3 million tons as more is exported. Corn feed use is reduced 0.2 million tons for Malaysia, while prospects for food use in North Korea are reduced by the same amount because of reduced production. There are smaller reductions in projected use this month for Turkey (barley feeding), Russia (corn feeding reduced by strong exports), Iraq, and Israel.

World ending stocks of coarse grains are projected up 4.9 million tons this month to 190.1 million. Increased production and beginning stocks are boosting forecast corn ending stocks 4.1 million tons to 144.2 million, sorghum stocks 0.4 million tons to 5.1 million, and barley stocks 0.3 million tons to 32.9 million. Global oat stocks are also up slightly due to the U.S. change.

The largest increase in projected coarse grain ending stocks this month is for the United States, up 2.9 million tons. With sharply increased corn production Brazil’s ending stocks are projected up 1.3 million tons. An increased import pace is increasing Iran’s corn ending stocks 0.5 million tons. Increased beginning stocks based on historical revisions to stocks are boosting Argentina’s projected 2009/10 ending stocks by 0.4 million tons. Reduced corn export prospects are boosting China’s ending stocks by 0.35 million tons. There are smaller increases this month for Australia, Syria, Turkey, Thailand, Algeria, and Burma.

Partly offsetting these increases are reductions in forecast ending stocks for Mexico, down 0.7 million tons due to reduced corn production. There are small reductions to projected coarse grain ending stocks for Peru, India, Venezuela, South Africa, Colombia, Iraq, Israel, Ukraine and Ecuador.

Global Coarse Grain Trade Changes Mostly Offsetting This Month

World coarse grain trade in 2009/10 (October-September) is projected to reach 111.0 million tons, up 0.2 million this month. Corn trade is forecast to reach 85.4 million tons, up 0.4 million, but barley trade is down 0.2 million tons to 16.8 million.

Mexico’s projected 2009/10 corn imports are cut 1.5 million tons to 8.0 million this month due to the slow pace of purchases and weak feed grain demand. Malaysia’s corn purchases have also been less than expected, trimming forecast imports 0.3 million tons to 2.5 million. There is also a small reduction in corn imports by Ecuador this month. Partly offsetting these declines are increases based on strong buying for Egypt, up 0.8 million tons to 5.0 million; Iran, up 0.3 million to 3.2 million; and smaller increases for Syria, Turkey and Iraq.

Corn exports are increased 0.25 million tons each for Burma and Thailand, and are up 0.15 million for Turkey because shipments in recent months have exceeded expectations. Partly offsetting is a 0.35-million-ton reduction for China, where exports have been slow due to high internal prices.

US corn exports are unchanged this month at 48.0 million tons (1.9 billion bushels for the September-August marketing year). October-February census corn exports reached 17.6 million tons, above the year-earlier pace, and March grain inspections of 4.7 million tons continued that trend. But outstanding sales at the beginning of April are down compared to a year ago, and US corn exports are expected to face stiff competition in coming months.

Changes to global barley trade highlight a 0.4-million-ton reduction in exports by Australia, due to slow feed barley exports to Saudi Arabia. This is partly offset by a 0.2-million-ton increase for Turkey, which has increased exports through government tenders. Syria’s barley imports are cut 0.3 million tons to 0.7 million based on the slow pace of purchases and good production prospects for the new crop.

Adjustments to projected 2009/10 global sorghum trade include a 0.2-million-ton reduction for Australia’s exports and an offsetting increase for Argentina, based on the pace of sales. Imports are reduced for Mexico but increased for Chile.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

April 2010

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.