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Grain sorghum bright spot in April WASDE Report

Grain sorghum bright spot in April WASDE Report

“A number of significant changes are made this month in the 2014-15 U.S. sorghum balance sheet to accommodate the continuing strong demand from China,” the April 9 report said. “Domestic sorghum use is lowered 41 million bushels with decreases projected for food, seed and industrial use and for feed and residual disappearance."

Supplies of most U.S. crops got larger as the result of adjustments made in the April 9 USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. The exception was grain sorghum stocks which were reduced because of continued strong exports to China.

USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board said 2014-2015 supplies of corn, barley and oats are projected higher than in the March report. Overall increases in total coarse grains will only be partly offset by a reduction for grain sorghum.

“A number of significant changes are made this month in the 2014-15 U.S. sorghum balance sheet to accommodate the continuing strong demand from China,” the April 9 report said. “Domestic sorghum use is lowered 41 million bushels with decreases projected for food, seed and industrial use and for feed and residual disappearance.

“Projected exports are raised 50 million bushels based on the continued strong pace of shipments and large outstanding sales of grain sorghum. Ending stocks are expected to be 9 million bushels lower. The season-average sorghum farm price is projected at $3.85 to $4.15 per bushels, 30 cents higher than the corn farm price.”

In the report, USDA said U.S. grain sorghum exports for the 2014-15 marketing year, which ends Aug. 31, could reach 350 million bushels. A portion of the 2015 sorghum crop will be needed to help shippers meet that number.

“Early harvested 2015-crop sorghum, particularly from Texas, is expected to augment 2014-15 marketing year supplies and support exports at 350 million bushels,” the report said. “The (March 31) Prospective Plantings Report indicated Texas producers intend to increase sorghum plantings by 20 percent for 2015.”

Weather, sugarcane aphids

In 2014, the report noted, more than 80 percent of the Texas sorghum crop was mature by mid-August. (The report made no mention of the potential impact of adverse weather at harvest or outbreaks of sugar cane aphids on the crop.) For more on the sorghum outlook, visit

Global coarse grain supplies are projected to be 4.2 million metric tons higher with much of the increase reflecting higher sorghum and millet output in Sudan, the report said. A number of small changes were made in corn, sorghum and millet production in sub-Saharan Africa, and corn production was raised in Serbia, Mexico and Argentina by a total of 2.2 million tons.

USDA raised its estimate of global coarse grain consumption for 2014-15, projecting that China will increase its sorghum feed use by 1.5 million metric tons with most of the increase being supplied by U.S. producers.

USDA lowered U.S. wheat ending stocks by 7 million bushels for 2014-15 because it believes lower imports and higher domestic use will be offset by lower exports owing to the strong competition in world wheat markets.

The World Agricultural Outlook Board revised its U.S. all wheat export projection down by 20 million bushels and said the 2014-15 marketing year export total could be the lowest since the 2009-10 marketing year.

Global exports are expected to be 1.5 million tons higher with the European Union accounting for most of the increase because of its proximity to key markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Canadian and Russian exports were each raised 500,000 tons.

Higher rice stocks

USDA forecast ending stocks of rice will increase 1.5 million hundredweight to 42.4 million hundredweight, up 33 percent from the 2013-14 marketing year. Long-grain ending stocks are expected to be up 500,000 hundredweight to 27.6 million and combined medium- and short-grain ending stocks up 1 million cwt to 12.5 million.

Rice imports are expected to increase by 500,000 hundredweight to 23.5 million because of strong February shipments of long-grain rice from Thailand, which is expected to regain its position as the leading exporter of rice in 2014-15 after a government policy of storing rice ended abruptly last year.

USDA lowered total 2014-15 rice use to 1 million hundredweight to 234 million with all of the decline occurring in medium and short grain rice. All rice domestic and residual use was reduced 2 million hundredweight to 129 million with long grain and combined medium and short grain rice reduced by 1 million hundredweight each to 98 million and 31 million hundredweight.

The decrease in domestic and residual use will be partially offset by a 1 million hundredweight increase in all rice exports to 105 million – all long grain – because exports have increased recently to Western Hemisphere markets. Long-grain exports are forecast at 73 million hundredweight and medium- and short-grain shipments at 32 million.

“The decrease in 2014-15 all rice domestic and residual use is based primarily on total use implied from USDA’s Rice Stocks report on March 31,” the World Agricultural Outlook Board said. “USDA’s March 1 stocks totaled 120.8 million cwt (rough equivalent basis), up 24 percent from the previous year, and the highest since 2011. Implied all rice domestic and residual use for December-February 2014-15 was down 8 percent from the previous market year and 5 percent below the previous four-year average.”

The WAOB said the 2014-15 long-grain season average price at the midpoint is projected at $12.30 per hundredweight, down 20 cents per cwt from a month ago and down #3.10 per cwt from last year. The all combined medium- and short-grain season-average price at the midpoint is forecast at $18.60 per cwt, up 10 cents from last month, but 60 cents per cwt below a year.

More soybeans

U.S. soybean supplies for 2014-15 are projected at 4.09 billion bushels, up 5 million bushels on increased imports. USDA left the soybean export and crush projections unchanged at 1.79 billion and 1.8 billion bushels.

Seed use was raised in line with the record plantings indicated in USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report, and residual use is raised based on indications from the USDA March 31 Grain Stocks report. U.S. ending stocks could reach 370 million bushels, down 15 million from last month.

USDA reduced the projected prices for soybeans by 10 cents at the midpoint from $9.60 to $10.60 per bushel based on marketings to date and lower expected prices for the remainder of the marketing year. Soybean oil prices are forecast at 30 to 33 cents per pound, down o.5 cents at the midpoint. Meal prices were left unchanged at $355 to $385 per short ton.

More cotton

USDA said its economists expect the 2014 U.S. cotton crop to reach 16.3 million bales based on the final USDA Cotton Ginnings report released on March 25. With no revisions to domestic mill use in the offing, ending stocks were raised from 4.2 million to 4.4 million bales.

“The range of 59 cents to 61 cents per pound for the estimated marketing year average price was reduced 1 cent to 59 cents to 60 cents, based on prices to date,” USDA economists said in the report.

USDA made only marginal changes in the 2014-15 world supply and demand estimates. World production was virtually the same at 119 million bales because it believes decreases in production in India and Uzbekistan will be offset by larger crops in the U.S., Mexico, Pakistan and others.

Consumption is expected to be up slightly with increases in India, Vietnam and Pakistan being offset by reductions for Turkey, Brazil, Hong Kong and others. Global stocks are forecast to remain at 110 million bales.

To see the complete report, visit


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