OVERVIEW

World corn production for 2015/16 is forecast higher, with gains in Argentina and Brazil more than offsetting smaller crops in Indonesia and South Africa. Global trade is also projected up, highlighted by greater imports for India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States. Exports for Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay are boosted, more than offsetting lower exports for the United States. The U.S. season-average farm price is unchanged.

South African corn production is projected down 1.0 million tons to 7.0 million, resulting in a 300,000-ton boost to 2015/16 imports (Oct-Sep). However, the import forecast for South Africa's 2015/16 marketing year (beginning May 2016) is doubled to 3.0 million tons on higher expected demand for exports to Southern African Customs Union (SACU) partners.

South American Competition Limits U.S. Corn Exports

Combined corn exports for Brazil and Argentina are forecast at a record in 2015/16. In addition to large supplies, both countries have depreciating currencies, making their exports more competitive relative to other suppliers. Brazil's exports are forecast at a record based on the robust pace of shipments as well as the expectation of another large crop. Argentina's exports are forecast to be the second-highest on record as sales and shipments have accelerated following the removal of export taxes and quotas. Exports are expected to remain strong, fueled by larger projected supplies this month. The bulk of Argentina's 2015/16 exports are likely to ship during the latter half of the 2015/16 trade year (Oct-Sep).

Brazil's exports have grown more than any other country in 2015/16, capturing a larger share of record global trade. To do so, Brazil has expanded its second crop, which is exported from July through December, a period which includes the U.S. harvest. This intensified competition presents a challenge for U.S. exports, as evidenced by the current slow pace of sales and shipments. Even though U.S. supplies are near record levels, export bids have remained above those for South American competitors.

PRICES

Since the release of the January WASDE report, price quotes from all major exporters have risen. U.S. corn export prices climbed $8/ton to $172 with lower estimated U.S. corn production and confirmation of steady domestic usage. Argentine quotes are maintaining a discount to U.S. quotes, despite rising $14/ton to $169 because of strong export demand. Black Sea quotes are up marginally to $167/ton. Brazilian prices are seasonally unavailable.

TRADE CHANGES IN 2015/16

Selected Exporters

  • U.S. corn is cut 1.5 million tons to 42.0 million as sales and shipments continue to face stiff competition from South America. U.S. imports are up 250,000 tons to 1.25 million on large shipments to date.
  • Argentine corn is raised 2.0 million tons to 19.5 million on the continued fast pace of old-crop sales as well as the expectation of larger new-crop supplies.
  • Brazilian corn is boosted 1.5 million tons to a record 36.5 million based on the rapid pace of old-crop shipments and the expectation of another large crop in 15/16.
  • Paraguayan corn is up 400,000 tons to 2.7 million on the faster-than-expected pace of shipments for October-December.
  • Argentine barley is raised 200,000 tons to 2.2 million as a result of greater exportable supplies.
  • Canadian barley is cut 350,000 tons to 1.35 million on diminished competitiveness and higher expected feed use resulting from rising wheat prices.
  • EU barley is boosted 1.0 million tons to 9.0 million on a robust pace of license issued, mostly to China (Chinese imports are up 500,000 tons to 7.5 million).

Selected Importers

  • Indian corn is raised 350,000 tons to a record 400,000 reflecting recent purchases. These are the first sizable imports since 1999/00.
  • Indonesian corn is raised 300,000 tons to 3.3 million on a smaller crop.
  • Iranian corn is up 500,000 tons to 5.0 million on higher-than-expected recent arrivals.
  • Mexican corn is lifted 300,000 tons to 11.3 million on the fast pace of imports and the expectation that expanded corn feeding will compensate for a smaller sorghum crop.
  • South African corn is raised 300,000 tons to 2.0 million on a lower production forecast.
  • Turkish corn is boosted 300,000 tons to 1.2 million on higher-than-expected early-season shipments in light of high domestic corn prices.
  • Saudi barley is raised 500,000 tons to 8.0 million on the strong pace of shipments from the EU, Russia, and Ukraine.