According to the USDA's Feed Outlook, U.S. corn export sales and shipments in recent weeks have slowed as U.S. prices increased underpinned by new-crop production problems. U.S. 2011/12 exports are reduced 2.5 million tons this month to 40.0 million (down 50 million bushels to 1.6 billion bushels for the September-August local marketing year). Census export data for October 2011 through May 2012 reached 28.7 million tons, down 5 percent from the previous year. Recently, the pace of sales and shipments has slowed further. June export inspections reached 2.8 million tons, down over a million tons from a year earlier. At the end of June, corn outstanding sales were 5.7 million tons, down from 8.3 million a year ago.

Despite the significant reduction in U.S. corn exports, world corn trade for 2011/12 is forecast slightly higher this month, up 0.3 million tons to 97.0 million. Recently available trade data indicate India has been exporting large amounts of corn, and exports are forecast up 1.4 million tons to 3.8 million. Brazil has also been pricing corn for export very competitively, and expected exports are up 1.0 million tons to 11.0 million.

EU corn exports are raised 0.4 million tons to 3.1 million, based on the strong pace of export licenses, a record amount for the dozen years where comparable data are readily available. Russia has been exporting more corn than expected to neighboring countries, so 2011/12 exports are up 0.2 million tons to 2.2 million. There are small reductions in expected corn exports this month for Paraguay and China.

Changes to expected 2011/12 corn imports are mostly offsetting, with South Korea and Japan each reduced 0.5 million tons based on the slow pace of purchases, but the EU increased 0.8 million as imports and import licenses have been brisk. Peru’s imports are up 0.2 million tons, and U.S. imports are increased slightly.