Global Corn Production Slightly Below Consumption

Global corn production in 2015/16 is projected down from last year's record, with lower forecasts for the United States, EU, Brazil, and Ukraine. Global corn consumption is expected to climb just above production for the first time in 5 years. Global ending stocks are forecast mostly unchanged, with U.S. and foreign stocks declines nearly offset by growth in China. World corn import demand is expected higher, led by the EU and Saudi Arabia.

OVERVIEW FOR 2015/16

Global coarse grain production is forecast to fall as smaller crops in the United States and European Union more than offset record production in China. With ample carryin boosting supplies, global coarse grains consumption is forecast to expand by just 13 million tons. Stocks fall slightly as growth in China mostly offsets lower stocks elsewhere. Coarse grain trade is little changed overall.

Global corn production is forecast down from last year's record. Larger crops, mainly in China, South Africa, and India are more than offset by smaller production in the United States, EU, Brazil, and Ukraine. Global and U.S. consumption are both forecast up slightly, led by China. Corn used for ethanol in the United States is unchanged from this year's record. Global ending stocks are forecast mostly unchanged with growth in China nearly offsetting declines in the United States and other foreign stocks. World corn import demand is expected higher, led by the EU and Saudi Arabia.

World barley production is expected to drop slightly, despite larger crops in several key countries and North Africa, as Russian and Ukrainian crops are forecast down nearly 25 percent. Trade is forecast lower, with weaker demand from China and North Africa.

Global sorghum production is forecast slightly higher. Trade is forecast slightly lower, robust demand from China. However, future Chinese demand--and for all imported feedstuffs--remains highly uncertain as the country deals with mounting corn stockpiles, an expected record crop, and weakness in domestic demand.

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2015/16

Selected Exporters

  • U.S. corn is forecast at 48.5 million tons, up 2.5 million, on record supplies and less competition from Ukraine. The season-average farm price is down to a range of $3.20 to $3.80/bushel, with the mid-point 15 cents lower than the current season forecast.
  • Argentine corn is unchanged year-to-year at 16.0 million tons, despite a projected larger crop.
  • Brazilian corn is up 2.5 million tons to 24.0 million on larger exportable supplies from the 2015 safrinha crop.
  • South African corn is unchanged at 1.0 million tons because of tight exportable supplies from the current crop.
  • Ukrainian corn is forecast at 16.0 million tons, 2.0 million lower than last year, based on smaller crop prospects.
  • Argentine barley is up 400,000 tons to 2.0 million on larger crop prospects.
  • Australian barley is forecast unchanged from last year at 5.5 million tons due to reduced Chinese demand and despite a larger crop.
  • Canadian barley is up 200,000 tons to 1.5 million on larger crop prospects.
  • EU barley is forecast down 1.0 million tons to 7.5 million on a smaller crop.
  • Russian and Ukrainian barley are slashed a combined 1.9 million tons to 3.5 million and 2.0 million, respectively, because of sharply lower crop prospects.
  • Argentine sorghum is boosted 200,000 tons to 1.7 million on larger exportable supplies and demand from China.
  • U.S. sorghum is forecast down 500,000 tons to 8.5 million on tighter exportable supplies.

Selected Importers

  • Chinese corn is forecast unchanged at 3.0 million tons with a projected record corn crop, abundant stocks, government incentives to purchase domestically, and restrictive import measures. High domestic corn prices are expected to continue to drive imports of alternative feedstuffs and have China remain the world's largest importer of barley and sorghum. Barley imports are projected down 1.0 million tons to 7.0 million as global supplies are relatively tight. Sorghum is up 500,000 tons to 9.0 million with the vast majority of imports from the United States.
  • Egyptian corn is forecast up 500,000 tons to 8.0 million on growing feed demand.
  • EU corn is forecast sharply higher, up 4.0 million tons to 12.0 million, as the crop is projected down from last year's record. Abundant global supplies of corn and a continued elevated forecast for EU wheat exports are expected to support imported corn as a competitively priced feed ingredient.
  • Japanese corn is forecast down 200,000 tons to 15.2 million based on sluggish demand from the poultry and livestock sectors.
  • Mexican corn is up 300,000 tons to 10.3 million on a smaller crop and higher feed demand.
  • South Korean corn is projected up 400,000 tons to 10.0 million with growth in feed demand from pork, partnered with steady poultry production, more than offsetting lower use by the cattle sector.
  • Japanese barley is expected to remain steady at 1.3 million tons.
  • Saudi barley is forecast at 6.5 million tons, unchanged from last year as barley consumption is expected to decline in favor of more compound feed (corn imports are up 1.0 million tons to a record 4.5 million).

OVERVIEW FOR 2014/15

World corn production is raised, mostly on a larger crop in Brazil. Exporter trade changes are mostly offsetting, with U.S. and EU forecasts higher and Indian and Brazilian lower. Imports are boosted, largely because of greater demand from Kenya. The U.S. season-average farm price is lowered slightly.

PRICES

Following the release of the April WASDE report, U.S. corn quotes slid into early May on reports of rapid planting progress and favorable weather, closing down nearly $8/ton to $171/ton.

Argentine quotes fell less, halving the premium for U.S. corn. Similarly, Black Sea quotes were little changed and are now about at parity with U.S. prices. Brazilian quotes reappeared at month's end and rose to match Argentine price levels.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2014/15

Selected Exporters

  • U.S. corn is up 500,000 tons to 46.0 million on recent sales and relatively competitive prices.
  • Brazilian corn is cut 500,000 tons to 21.5 million as a greater proportion of the larger current crop is expected to be shipped in 2015/16.
  • EU corn is boosted 500,000 tons to 3.0 million on the pace of licenses.
  • Indian corn is slashed 1.0 million tons to 1.5 million on uncompetitive prices and sluggish trade to date.
  • Zambian corn is more than doubled to 700,000 tons as the country is expected to backfill regional trade usually supplied by South Africa.
  • Australian and EU barley are raised a combined 1.5 million tons, to 5.5 million and 8.5 million, respectively, on robust Chinese demand. Chinese imports are boosted sharply by 2.0 million tons to 8.0 million.
  • Russian barley is up 200,000 tons to 4.7 million on continued strong shipments.

Selected Importers

  • Kenyan corn is up 400,000 tons to 900,000 tons on strong demand and higher expected imports from East African Community countries.
  • Turkish barley is more than halved to 300,000 tons on little trade to date.
  • As conflict in the region continues, Syrian barley is cut 400,000 tons to 100,000, and Jordanian is raised 250,000 tons to 900,000.