Global Corn Stocks Surge, Prices Plummet

Global corn stocks in 2013/14 are projected to rise to the highest level in over a decade as record and near-record crops are forecast for the United States and other exporter countries. This would be the largest year-over-year surge in global stocks since the rebuilding following the 1995/96 global shortfall. The forecast rebound is entirely attributed to the United States, where prospects for a record crop would more than double stocks.

As a consequence of projected record global supplies, new-crop corn prices are currently significantly lower than last year at this time, when drought in the United States drove prices to new highs. The price drop is expected to stimulate record global consumption and import demand. However, falling prices are likely to impact planting decisions in the Southern Hemisphere in the coming months as producers reassess their relative profit margins for alternative crops.



Global production for 2013/14 is projected at a record. Trade is boosted by strong import demand in the Middle East and China. U.S. exports are up slightly this month, supported by increased opportunities in South America and China. The season-average U.S. farm price is lowered because of huge global supplies of both corn and wheat. For 2012/13, global trade and U.S. exports were raised slightly.


Domestic: Over the past month, both Hard Red Winter (HRW) and Soft Red Winter (SRW) prices jumped, driven primarily by strong export sales. HRW rose $18 to $318/ton and SRW went up $11 to $276/ton. Hard Red Spring (HRS) dropped $9 to $320/ton and Soft White Wheat (SWW) shed $9 to $279/ton.


Selected Exporters

Argentina is cut 1.0 million tons to 5.0 million on lower production.

Brazil is halved to 500,000 tons on lower production and reduced competitiveness.

Canada is up 500,000 tons to 20.0 million on higher production and opportunities for sales to South America.

EU is raised 2.0 million tons to 22.0 million based on a larger crop and growing demand in the Middle East.

India is slashed 2.0 million tons to 5.0 million based on reduced competitiveness vis-á-vis Black Sea prices.

Kazakhstan is boosted 2.0 million tons to 9.0 million supported by larger production and expanding demand in the Middle East.

Pakistan is cut 300,000 tons to 500,000 as a result of diminished competitiveness.

Turkey is up 300,000 tons to 3.5 million on growing demand for their flour.

Ukraine is raised 2.0 million tons to 10.0 million on larger production and strong sales.

United States is up 500,000 tons to 30.0 million supported by robust sales and shipments to South America and China.

Selected Importers

China is up 1.0 million tons to 9.5 million on reported purchases.

EU is lowered 500,000 tons to 5.0 million with a larger crop.

Iran is boosted 1.5 million tons to 4.0 million as the pace of recent purchases is expected to continue.

Pakistan is up 500,000 tons to 900,000 because of tight supplies and high domestic prices.

Syria is raised 500,000 tons to 1.1 million in view of recent Government tenders.

Turkey is up 500,000 tons to 3.5 million on account of larger exportable supplies in the Black Sea Region.


Selected Exporters - based on trade data

India is raised 300,000 tons to 8.3 million tons.

United States is raised 295,000 tons to 27.7 million.

Uruguay is lowered 300,000 tons to 900,000.



Global production for 2013/14 is down marginally from last month, but is still a record and remains higher than consumption. Stocks are ample, particularly in major exporting countries. Trade is up on account of stronger import demand from China and Africa. Exports are up for India, Pakistan, and Vietnam. U.S. production is up slightly, resulting in a lower season-average farm price.


China has historically been the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. However, its role in global trade has varied significantly recently, transitioning from major exporter to minor player to major importer. In 1998, China was the fourth-largest exporter, supplying 14 percent of global trade. Surplus production was shipped to Asian and African countries in attempts to cut stocks, strengthen domestic prices, and earn foreign exchange.

Now, despite near-record production and ample domestic supplies, China is the world’s largest importer, accounting for over 7 percent of global trade. Prices from neighboring countries are lower than government-supported domestic prices, thus creating an incentive to import. China has a Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) for 5.0 million tons.


Over the past month, Thai export quotes have continued to decline, as more of its massive stocks became available. U.S. quotes have also fallen, with the harvest beginning in some parts of the country. Quotes have remained relatively stable for Uruguay, Pakistan, and India. Meanwhile, Vietnamese quotes have escalated on account of government procurement efforts and the implementation of higher minimum export prices.

There is a wider range and more delineation between the various quotes than last year. Thai quotes have plunged in the direction of the other major Asian suppliers.


Selected Exporters

Argentina is cut 100,000 tons to 525,000 in 2013 on smaller exportable supplies.

China is down 100,000 tons to 350,000 in 2013 on the pace of shipments to date.

India is up 700,000 tons to 9.7 million in 2013 and up 500,000 tons to 9.0 million in 2014 as exports continue at a rapid pace and India is expected to remain price competitive.

Pakistan is up 100,000 tons to 3.1 million in 2014 on larger exportable supplies and new financing terms with Iran.

Vietnam is up 100,000 tons to 7.8 million in 2014 on stronger expected demand from China.

Selected Importers

China is boosted 200,000 tons to 3.2 million in 2013 and raised 400,000 tons to 3.4 million in 2014 on account of continued price disparity with neighboring countries.

Senegal is raised 150,000 tons to 1.2 million in both 2013 and 2014 as strong imports are expected to continue, especially from India.



World corn production in 2013/14 is down as larger crops in Ukraine and India more than offset lower production in the United States, Mexico, EU, and Russia. Global trade is boosted to a record while the U.S. estimate is lowered because of reduced exportable supplies and competitor pressures. The U.S. season-average farm price is boosted slightly. For 2012/13, U.S. exports are unchanged; the season-average farm price is also unchanged.


Since the release of the June WASDE report, U.S. corn quotes have been in a freefall, dropping more than $80/ton through the first week of August to $236/ton, as favorable summer weather supports the development of a record crop. The premium against Argentine and Black Sea quotes has consequently shrunk by more than two-thirds and half, respectively. At the same time, Brazil’s huge second-crop harvest is underway, causing prices to drop, thereby improving its competitiveness against Argentina. Ukraine is also poised for a record harvest and prices are plummeting.


Selected Exporters

U.S. corn is lowered 500,000 tons to 32.5 million on reduced exportable supplies.

Brazilian corn is raised 2.0 million tons to 20.0 million on larger old-crop supplies.

EU corn is cut 200,000 tons to 2.5 million and Russian corn is slashed 500,000 tons to 2.0 million due to smaller crops and stronger competition from Ukraine.

Ukrainian corn is raised 1.5 million tons to 18.0 million on prospects for a record crop.

Argentine barley is up 300,000 tons to 2.6 million on improved production prospects.

Canadian barley is lowered 400,000 tons to 1.2 million due to reduced harvested area and strong competition from Europe and Argentina.

EU barley is raised 500,000 tons to 4.3 million on a larger crop, restoring its position as the world’s largest barley exporter.

Selected Importers

Egyptian corn is up 300,000 tons to 5.2 million based on higher feed use.

EU corn is raised 500,000 tons to 7.5 million because of a smaller crop and ample Ukrainian supplies.

Mexican corn is raised 1.5 million tons to 8.0 million based on a smaller crop.

South Korean corn is raised 700,000 tons to 8.9 million on expanding feed demand.

Turkish corn is lowered 200,000 tons to 500,000 on improved domestic supplies.

Algerian barley is doubled to 400,000 tons based on the pace of purchases.

Chinese sorghum is doubled to a record 400,000 tons on trade reports of purchases.


Selected Exporters

Argentine corn is raised 1.5 million tons to 23.5 million due to a record export pace.

EU corn is boosted 200,000 tons to 1.7 million reflecting late-season export licenses.

Argentine barley is lowered 300,000 tons to 3.7 million on account of smaller-thanexpected old-crop supplies and the pace of shipments to date.

Selected Importers

U.S. corn is boosted 200,000 tons to 4.2 million on continued imports for feed use (Canadian exports are raised 200,000 tons to 1.6 million).

Egyptian and South Korean corn are boosted 500,000 tons each to 4.5 and 8.5 million, respectively, based on trade data.

EU, Indonesian, and Turkish corn are boosted 300,000 tons each on stronger-thanexpected shipments.

Mexican corn is slashed 1.0 million tons to 5.5 million and Mexican sorghum is cut 200,000 tons to 2.0 million on tight U.S. supplies (high prices) through late summer.

Venezuelan corn is cut 200,000 tons to 2.3 million due to a slow pace of shipments