Could corn drop below $4? USDA says ‘maybe’
On Friday, the USDA pegged corn production tentatively at 13.9 billion bushels in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, up slightly from the 2013-2014 record as higher expected yields more than offset the decline in planted area.
In the report, the USDA forecast corn yield at 165.3 bushels per acre, up 6.5 bushels from 2013-2014. The season-average farm price was projected lower, with a range falling to $3.85 and $4.55 per bushel. This is down from last month’s projected range of $4.50 and $4.80 per bushel.
Corn supplies for 2014-2015 were also projected 330 million bushels higher at 15.1 billion bushels.
“U.S. corn use for 2014-15 is projected 2 percent lower than in 2013-14,” the USDA said in the WASDE report. “Feed and residual use is projected 50 million bushels lower with animal numbers down from 2013-14. Exports are projected 200 million bushels lower than this month’s higher projection for 2013/14 as larger expected foreign supplies and lower import demand limit U.S. shipments. Corn used to produce ethanol in 2014/15 is expected to be unchanged on the year with gasoline consumption expected to remain flat in 2015. Corn ending stocks are projected at 1.7 billion bushels, up 580 million from the 2013/14 projection.”
Globally, the USDA anticipates a record 979.1 million tons of corn to be produced for 2014-15, unchanged from 2013-14. Global corn trade is projected lower with imports projected down year to year for China and Mexico.
The USDA projects a record 3.635 billion bushels of soybeans to be produced this year, up 346 million from the 2013 crop on record yields and harvested area. Soybean yield is projected up 1.9 bushels from 2013 at 45.2 bushels per acre.
Like corn, the U.S. season-average soybean price for 2014-2015 is forecast to sink between $9.75 and $11.75 per bushel.
“U.S. soybean exports are projected at 1.625 billion bushels, up 25 million from 2013-14 on record supplies and competitive prices,” the USDA wrote. “Despite gains in use, ending stocks for 2014/15 are projected at 330 million bushels, up 200 million from 2013/14, increasing the stocks-to-use ratio to 9.6 percent.”
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