U.S. corn production in 2011/12 is forecast at 12.5 billion bushels, down 417 million from last month and only 50 million bushels above 2010/11, despite a 4.6-percent increase in planted area. Based on September 1 conditions, the national average corn yield is forecast at 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from the August forecast and 4.7 bushels per acre below the 2010/11 yield. The current yield forecast for 2011/12 is 16.6 bushels below the 2009/10 record and would be the lowest yield since 2005/06. Despite this lower yield, production is forecast to be the third highest ever, with the second highest planted area since 1944.
Projected beginning stocks for 2011/12 are lowered 20 million bushels this month to 920 million, reflecting higher estimates of exports and FSI use during the 2010/11 season. Projected imports for 2011/12 were reduced 5 million bushels, and if realized, the 15 million bushels imported will be half the level imported during the 2010/11 crop year. The reduced imports primarily reflect slower shipments from Canada due to lower production there. The resulting corn supply for 2011/12 is projected at 13.4 billion bushels, 442 million below last month’s projection and 753 million below 2010/11. Estimated 2010/11 supplies were unchanged this month at 14.2 billion bushels.
Feed and residual use for 2011/12 is lowered 200 million bushels this month, as tighter supplies and higher prices trim feed demand. Residual disappearance is also expected to decline with the smaller crop. The export projection is cut 100 million bushels as U.S. supplies tighten relative to other producers. FSI use was lowered 100 million bushels on lower projected ethanol production based on reduced prospects for fuel consumption reported by the Energy Information Administration. Projected 2011/12 ending stocks are lowered 42 million bushels from last month to 672 million bushels as strong prices maintain “pipeline” stocks relative to use of about 5 percent.
Projected 2011/12 corn prices are increased 30 cents on each end of the range for an average of $6.50 to $7.50 per bushel, reflecting tighter supplies and reduced ending stocks. The 2010/11 estimated price was reduced 5 cents to $5.20 per bushel from the mid-point of last month’s estimated range.