Corrected: US corn, soybean stocks fall as use climbs - USDA

12 January 2011 16:34  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined "US corn, soybean stocks fall as use climbs - USDA" dated 12 January 2011, please read in the fifth paragraph ... raised by 100m bushels ... instead of ... raised to 100m bushels .... A corrected story follows.

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Commodity traders sent prices for corn and soybeans higher at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its estimates of stocks available for feed and fuel.

In its January reports on US crop production and world supply and demand estimates, USDA said corn production was 93m bushels lower than the 12.54bn bushels estimated in December.

The drop was because of a 1.5-bushel/acre reduction in the national average yield, now pegged at 152.8 bushels/acre. That outweighed a 183,000-acre increase in harvested area.

Corn feed and residual use was projected 100m bushels lower based on September-November disappearance as indicated by 1 December stocks.

Meanwhile, corn used for ethanol was raised by 100m bushels, offsetting a reduction in expected feed and residual use.

Record December ethanol production, as indicated by weekly Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, was cited by USDA as the reason for the higher corn use.

Ending corn stocks for 2010-11 were projected 87m bushels lower at 745m, down from 963m bushels a year earlier.

The stocks-to-use ratio was projected at 5.5%, the lowest since 1995-96 when it dropped to 5.0%.

Global 2010-11 coarse grain supplies were projected lower this month with reduced corn, sorghum, oats, and rye production only partly offset by higher projected barley production in Argentina and EU-27.

In Argentina, untimely and persistent dryness during late December and early January reduced yield prospects in key central growing areas.

“The USDA numbers are bullish for grain prices but are nothing dramatic,” a grain trader said.

For soybeans, the USDA lowered its US 2010 production estimate to 3.329bn bushels, below the December estimate of 3.375bn.

Corn stored in all positions on 1 December totalled 10bn bushels, down 8% from a year ago.

USDA said the area in the US planted to winter wheat for harvest in 2011 was estimated at 41m acres, up 10% from 2010 but 5% below 2009.

More acres were seeded this year as a result of an early row crop harvest and higher prices, USDA said.

Higher prices for corn and other crops are expected to result in greater demand for ammonia and other fertilizers, as up to 10m additional acres could be planted in the US in 2011.

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By: Frank Zaworski
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