Global corn trade projected for 2011/12 (October-September) is reduced 0.4 million tons this month to 94.0 million. EU corn import prospects are reduced 0.5 million tons to 3.0 million because of increased production and the slow pace of import licenses. Serbia’s corn export prospects are cut 0.4 million tons to 1.6 million as low water in the Danube River has complicated logistics for moving grain, and slack EU import demand reduces the urgency of shipments and limits the willingness of importers to pay extra for alternative freight.

World corn trade prospects reduced slightly

U.S. corn exports for 2011/12 remain projected to reach 41.0 million tons (1.6 billion bushels for the September-August local marketing year). While U.S. exports for October 2011 were reported by Census down 8 percent compared to a year earlier at 3.2 million tons, the November corn export inspections reached 3.8 million, an increase of 0.5 million tons over a year ago. As of December 1, 2011, outstanding sales were 12.8 million tons, up 3 percent from the previous year. The 2011/12 forecast is down 9 percent from 2010/11, implying a significant slowdown in additional sales and shipments. Tight U.S. corn supplies, relatively high U.S. corn prices, and competition from abundant feed-quality wheat in foreign markets are expected.

U.S. sorghum exports for 2011/12 are reduced 0.5 million tons to 1.9 million (down 20 million bushels to 70 million for the September-August local marketing year). U.S. sorghum supplies are tight because of a small crop, limiting export sales. As of December 1, 2011, outstanding sales reached only 187,400 tons, down from 720,700 a year ago. Prospects for an increase in sorghum sales seem limited as Mexico has turned to cheaper wheat to replace sorghum imports. Mexico’s sorghum imports for 2011/12 are reduced 0.3 million tons this month to 1.8 million. Australia’s sorghum export projection is increased 0.2 million tons to 1.2 million as a larger crop combines with prospects for a stronger share of Japan’s sorghum imports.

The 5-million-bushel U.S. oats import increase for the June-May 2011/12 local marketing year was due to strong shipments in July through September and is reflected in the 2010/11 October-September international trade year. With increased production this month, Canada’s oats export prospects for 2011/12 are increased slightly.

World barley trade for 2011/12 is projected slightly higher this month due to an increase in import demand from Algeria, doubling to 0.5 million tons this month. With a smaller crop, Australia’s barley export prospects are reduced, but exports for Russia and Argentina are increased because of strong sales.