12 January 2009 16:59 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Monday raised its US corn stocks projection for the 2008-09 crop year by 316m bushels, chiefly due to weaker ethanol demand for the grain.
The USDA raised its ending stocks forecast for 2008-09 to 1.79bn bushels in a monthly report. That compares with 1.47bn bushels in December.
US corn ending stocks in 2007-08 were estimated at 1.62bn bushels, according to the USDA.
The government said ethanol corn use is projected to be 100m bushels lower for 2008-09 amid sustained negative ethanol production margins, which the USDA said have reduced incentives for production of the biofuel.
The USDA also reduced US feed and residual corn-use projections for 2008-09 by 50m bushels, while lowering food, seed and industrial use by 35m bushels.
In addition, the government cut the US corn exports forecast by 50m bushels, while increasing estimates for domestic production of the grain by 81m bushels.
The government now projects US corn prices to average $3.55-4.25/bushel (€2.63-3.15/bushel) in 2008-09, down by 10 cents/bushel on each end of the range from a forecast in the December report.
($1 = €0.74)
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