USDA raises US, global year-ending corn stocks estimates for 2018-19 to above market expectations


The US Department of Agriculture projected Tuesday domestic corn stocks at the end of the 2018-2019 marketing year, which closes August 31, 2019, to be at 1.774 billion bushels (45.062 million mt), down 228 million bushels from its 2017-2018 estimates of 2.002 billion bushels but up 90 million bushels from its prior forecast for the period.

 USDA's domestic corn stocks estimates for the next marketing year was within the top end of the range of analysts' expectations of 1.477 to 1.785 billion bushels, but above the average analysts' expectations of 1.693 billion bushel, sources said.

The increase in the 2018-2019 year-ending stocks projection reflected an increase in production due to a higher yield estimate.

"Corn production is forecast at 14.827 billion bushels, up 241 million from last month on an increased yield forecast," the USDA said. "If realized, the crop would be the second highest on record."

"Corn supplies are higher from last month, as a larger crop more than offsets a small decline in beginning stocks due to higher estimated exports for 2017/18," the agency said. "Feed and residual use for 2018-2019 is raised 50 million bushels with a larger crop and lower expected prices."

The agency's latest estimate for US corn exports in the 2018-2019 marketing year was 2.400 billion bushels, compared to 2.350 billion bushels in the previous month's forecast, but 25 million mt below the previous marketing year's expected total.


The USDA estimated global corn stocks would be 157.03 million mt at the end of the 2018-2019 marketing year, down 19.12% from its 2017-2018 estimate of 194.15 million mt, but up 1.54 million mt from its prior monthly estimate for the 2018-2019 marketing year.

The agency's non-US corn ending stocks forecast was slightly lower compared to last month, mostly reflecting declines for Argentina, South Africa, Ukraine, Canada, and Serbia more than offsetting increases for Angola, Paraguay, the EU, Brazil, Turkey, and India, the USDA added.

The forecast for "EU corn production is raised, mostly reflecting increases for Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and France," the USDA said.

USDA is projecting a 10-cent drop in its US midpoint season average farm price for the 2018-2019 marketing year to $3.50/bushel, the agency said.

Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the US and is the main competitor for dried distillers grains.

The agency's latest estimate of the amount of US corn that will be used for ethanol production in the 2018-2019 marketing year was 5.650 billion bushels, 25 million bushels above its previous estimate, and 50 million bushels higher than the prior marketing year's expected figure.

The agency's projections for the 2018-2019 marketing year foresee 33.5% of next season's total corn supply going toward production of ethanol and byproducts, while 14.2% will be exported, it said.

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