USDA made minor changes to 2014-15 crop estimates in early March. Here are highlights from the report, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.
Corn use in ethanol production is projected 50 million bushels lower due to a higher conversion rate than previously assumed. The reduction in corn use for ethanol was offset by a 50-million-bushel increase in projected feed and residual use.
Corn exports are projected 50 million bushels higher based on commitments to date and higher projected global demand. Projected ending stocks were lowered 50 million bushels. The season-average farm price for corn is projected at $3.50 to $3.90 per bushel, up 5 cents at the midpoint.
Global corn production for 2014-15 was lowered 1.6 million tons with reductions for South Africa and Belarus only partly offset by an increase for Argentina.
USDA raised its projection for U.S. rice exports by 1 million hundredweight to 104 million. Long-grain exports are forecast at 72 million hundredweight, up 1 million from last month based on larger expected exports to markets in the Western Hemisphere.
Combined medium- and short-grain export projections are unchanged at 32 million hundredweight.
All rice ending stocks are projected at 40.9 million hundredweight, down 1 million from a month ago — all in long-grain rice. Long-grain rice ending stocks are projected at 27.1 million hundredweight, the largest since 2010-11. Medium- and short-grain ending stocks are unchanged at 11.5 million.
Global rice production was increased 300,000 tons. Global rice consumption was raised 500,000 tons with the largest increases for China and India. Global rice exports were raised 400,000 tons. Global imports are raised for China, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
Soybean ending stocks remain projected at an 8-year high of 385 million bushels. The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2014-15 is projected at $9.45 to $10.95 per bushel. Global soybean production is unchanged at a record 315.1 million tons with Brazil soybean production projected at 94.5 million tons and Argentina at 56.0 million tons.
U.S. 2014-15 cotton supply and demand estimates are unchanged from last month. Marginal reductions in 2014-15 world cotton production and consumption are boosting projected global stocks to just over 110 million bales.
Consumption was reduced for China, where yarn imports continue to rise, displacing growth in domestic cotton spinning. Lower consumption by China was partially offset by increases for Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. World trade was raised slightly.
Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2014-15 were reduced 1 million bushels with an increase in expected seed use. Global wheat exports are raised 500,000 tons.