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USDA projects record global corn trade

USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board is projecting record world corn exports for 2006-07 as import demand remains strong despite high prices.

U.S. corn exports for the October-September 2006-07 trade year are forecast at 56 million tons, nearly the same as the previous year.

Competition from Argentina was down early in the trade year due to a small corn crop in the country in 2006, but it is expected to increase in the later months after harvest in March and April 2007. Corn exports from South Africa are expected to decline in 2006-07.

Meanwhile, world coarse grain consumption is expected to increase 3 percent in 2006-07, exceeding 1 billion tons for the first time. This is the fourth straight year of demand growth.

Increasing global consumption of coarse grains is expected to reduce world ending stocks 26 percent to 123 million tons in 2006-07, the lowest level in over 30 years.

World coarse grain production in 2006-07 is expected to decline less than 1 percent from the previous year. Foreign coarse grain production is forecast up 2 percent as South America’s production leaps 22 percent and Sub-Saharan Africa’s production increases 7 percent despite devastating drought in South Africa.

China is having another record coarse grain crop, up 3 percent over 2005-06. These increases more than offset another poor crop in the EU-25 in 2006-07, which is down 4 percent from 2005-06, and a 51-percent drought-induced plummet in Australia.

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