Corn crop slips on lower yield as harvested acreage edges up
U.S. corn production is forecast at 10,706 million bushels for 2012/13, down 22 million bushels from last month. From the previous month’s forecast, yield slips 0.8 bushels per acre to 122.0 bushels. The October 1 corn objective yield data indicate reduced ears per acre compared with last year’s record high for the combined 10 objective yield States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Forecast harvested acreage is boosted by 360,000 acres to 87.7 million. If the forecast production is realized, it would be the eighth largest on record.
Beginning stocks are lowered to 988 million bushels, 193 million lower than last month based on reported September 1 stocks. Exports are projected 100 million bushels lower at 1,150 million as a result of tight supplies and increased export competition, especially from Brazil. Corn used for ethanol production in 2012/13 is unchanged this month at 4,500 million bushels, based on anticipated fuel demand, tight corn supplies, and prospects for ethanol imports. Total utilization is projected at 11,150 million bushels, down 100 million from last month and 1,376 million below 2011/12.
Ending stocks are reduced sharply this month by 114 million bushels. At a projected 619 million bushels, 2012/13 ending stocks would be the lowest since 1995/96, when ending stocks were estimated at just 426 million bushels. The 2012/13 forecast price is reduced 10 cents on both ends of the range to $7.10-$8.50 per bushel, primarily due to declining early-season cash and futures prices. These price forecasts are still far above the record 2011/12 final price estimate of $6.22 per bushel.