Projected 2011/12 industrial use of corn other than for ethanol is unchanged this month in total, but shifts among types of sweeteners and starch were made based on the latest indications. Projected corn used for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was reduced to 495 million bushels on lower shipments during the first half of the 2011/12 crop year. U.S. Census data indicate shipments of HFCS to Mexico have been slower than expected. Corn use for HFCS in 2010/11 was estimated at 521 million bushels. Projected corn use for glucose and dextrose was adjusted upwards this month, to 300 million bushels, reflecting increased shipments during the first half of the marketing year. Corn use for glucose and dextrose was estimated at 272 million bushels in 2010/11. Corn use for starch was reduced by 10 million bushels to 250 million. Use for starch during 2010/11 was estimated at 258 million bushels.
Corn used to produce ethanol in 2011/12 is projected at 5 billion bushels, unchanged again this month. The latest monthly data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate that average daily ethanol disappearance fell to a 23-month low in January while production reached the second-highest monthly level, pushing ethanol stocks to a new record high. Weekly EIA ethanol production data suggest average daily ethanol production during February and March has continued to fall, hitting its lowest level since early fall 2011. High ethanol stocks occurring as consumption approaches the E-10 (10-percent ethanol / 90-percent gasoline) blend wall level suggest continued production declines in the near future. However, recent progress toward E-15 (15-percent ethanol / 85-percent gasoline) implementation may sustain ethanol refiners in the long run although numerous hurdles still exist before E-15 consumption could occur on a widespread basis, such as liability, warranty, and infrastructure limitations. Furthermore, while ethanol exports continue to absorb supplies, reduced shipments in January may indicate a shift in export levels.