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USDA raises 2018-19 US, global year-ending corn stocks estimate

The US Department of Agriculture projected Tuesday domestic corn stocks to total 1.781 billion bushels (45.239 million mt) at the end of the 2018-2019 marketing year, down 359 million bushels from its 2017-2018 estimate of 2.140 billion bushels, and up 45 million bushels (1.143 million mt) from its prior forecast for the upcoming period.

USDA’s domestic corn stocks estimates for the next marketing year, which ends August 31, 2019, was within the range of analysts’ expectations of 1.585 billion-2.058 billion bushels, but above the consensus average of 1.744 billion bushels, sources said.

“This month’s 2018-2019 US corn outlook is for lower corn used for ethanol, reduced imports, and larger ending stocks,” the USDA said.

The volume of corn used for the production of ethanol has been reduced by 50 million bushels to 5.6 billion, “based on the most recent data from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and weekly ethanol production data as reported by the Energy Information Administration for the month of November,” the USDA added. “These data imply corn used for ethanol during the September to November quarter declined relative to the prior year for the first time since 2012.”

The volume of corn used for domestic feed and US exports has been unchanged from the previous forecast: feed use was estimated at 5.5 billion bushels and exports were estimated at 2.45 billion bushels.

The season-average corn price received by producers was unchanged at a midpoint of $3.60/bu but the range was narrowed 5 cents on each end to $3.25-$3.95/bu, the USDA data showed.

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The USDA estimated global corn stocks would be 308.8 million mt at the end of the 2018-19 marketing year, which is down 9.2% from its 2017-2018 estimate of 340.2 million mt, but up 1.29 million mt from its prior monthly estimate for the 2018-19 marketing year.

USDA’s global corn stocks estimates for the current marketing year was within the range of analysts’ expectations of 304.2 million-312 million mt, but above the consensus average of 307.9 million mt, sources said.

“Foreign corn production is forecast higher with increases for Ukraine, the EU, and Thailand, more than offsetting reductions for South Africa and Canada,” the agency said, noting that higher EU corn production reflects a larger forecast for Romania.

“Ukraine corn production is raised based on harvest results to date, and if realized, this month’s yield forecast would surpass the previous record set during 2016-17 by nearly 20 percent,” the USDA said.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s corn production estimate was lowered as dry planting conditions were expected to reduce area.

“Corn exports are raised for Ukraine, but lowered for Mexico,” the agency added. “Imports are raised for Vietnam, Canada, Japan, Iran, and Colombia, with partially offsetting reductions for Libya and Venezuela.”

spglobal.com

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