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USDA reports lower corn stocks, record rice yields

USDA reported lower U.S. corn ending stocks and soybean production from last month and record U.S. rice yields, in its Jan. 11 world supply and demand estimates.

U.S. corn ending stocks were reduced 359 million bushels in January based on lower estimated production and increased feed and residual use. Corn supplies for 2007-2008 were lowered 94 million bushels based on lower estimated production. Feed and residual use was raised 300 million bushels based on September-November disappearance.

The season-average farm price for corn is projected at $3.70 to $4.30 per bushel, up 35 cents on both ends of the range based on the sharp rise in both cash and futures prices that has been sustained during recent weeks.

Sorghum supplies for 2007-2008 were lowered 10 million bushels based on lower production. Sorghum exports for 2007-2008 are projected 10 million bushels higher based on the strong pace of shipments and strong EU- 27 demand. Feed and residual use was lowered 5 million bushels. With the reduction in supplies, ending stocks are projected 15 million bushels lower. The sorghum season-average price was projected 40 cents higher on each end of the range to $3.60 to $4.20 per bushel.

The U.S. 2007-2008 rice crop is estimated at 197.5 million hundredweight, down slightly from the previous estimate, but 2 percent above 2006-2007. Average yield is estimated at a record 7,185 pounds per acre, down 62 pounds per acre from November but 317 pounds per acre above 2006-2007.

Imports for 2007-2008 are projected at a record 21.5 million hundredweight, unchanged from last month. Domestic and residual use is projected at 124.7 million hundredweight, unchanged from last month. Projected rice exports are unchanged at 109 million hundredweight.

Ending stocks for 2007-2008 are projected at 24.6 million hundredweight, down slightly from last month. The season-average farm price range is unchanged at $10.90 to $11.40 per hundredweight compared to $9.74 per hundredweight in 2006-2007. The midpoint of the price range at $11.15 per hundredweight would be the highest season-average farm price since 1980-1981 ($12.80 per hundredweight).

Rice global production and ending stocks for 2007-2008 were raised slightly from a month ago, while trade and consumption were lowered. Global exports were lowered 600,000 tons due to reductions for China and Pakistan. Imports were lowered for Cuba, China, and some African markets.

Global ending stocks are projected at 72.5 million tons, up 400,000 tons from last month, down 3 million from 2006-2007, and the lowest stocks since 1983-84. The stocks-to-use ratio at 17.1 percent is the lowest since 1976-77.

U.S. soybean production is estimated at 2.585 billion bushels, down 9 million bushels from last month based on a slightly lower yield. Soybean yield is estimated at 41.2 bushels per acre.

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