Corn planted acreage, yield estimated up from last month

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The U.S. corn production forecast for 2012/13 is raised 55 million bushels this month to 10,780 million, largely based on improvements in the estimated corn yield. The January yield estimate is raised 1.1 bushels per acre to 123.4. This gain is enough to offset the slight decrease in harvested acres to 87.4 million acres, down from the December estimate of 87.7 million acres.

The decline in 2012/13 harvested acres comes despite a small increase in planted acres. The 2011/12 corn production figure is also revised upward by 1.2 million bushels to 12,360 million bushels. Relative to last year’s production estimate, the 2012/13 corn crop is forecast to be 1,580 million bushels smaller, a contraction of nearly 13 percent. The January estimate for 2012/13 beginning stocks is increased by 624,000 bushels to a total of 989 million.

Projected corn feed and residual use for 2012/13 is raised 300 million bushels to 4,450 million. December 1 stocks indicated a September-November feed and residual estimate of 2,053 million bushels, sharply higher than expected, and up 228 million from the same quarter for 2011/12. The large first-quarter feed and residual implies likely new crop feeding before September 1. Feed and residual for 2011/12 is estimated at 4,548 million bushels, up 0.5 million from last month’s estimate, reflecting the higher production and carryout projections.

U.S. corn exports for 2012/13 are lowered 200 million bushels to 950 million as year-to-date shipments lag and larger expected supplies and exports for South America this month put further pressure on U.S. export prospects. The combination of reduced exports and increased feeding serve to increase projected total corn use for 2012/13 by 100 million bushels to 11,267 million.

Corn ending stocks for 2012/13 are expected to be 602 million bushels, down 44 million from last month as the increase in production is more than offset by higher feed and residual use. Ending stocks are down 387 million bushels from last year. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.3 percent, the lowest level since 1995/96, when the ratio dropped to 5.0 percent.

Based on the increase in production and reported prices received by farmers to date, the projected 2012/13 season average farm price for corn is unchanged at $6.80 to $8.00 per bushel. The average farm price midpoint is forecast at $7.40 per bushel. Producer deliveries of corn that was forward contracted earlier in the season and at prices below current market values, are reducing the monthly farm prices reported by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Changes are also made this month to the 2011/12 corn supply-and-use tables. Corn ending stocks are increased 0.6 million bushels to 989.0 million. However, production is revised up more than ending stocks, resulting in an increase in feed and residual to 4,547.7 million bushels.

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