In spite of the severe decline in U.S. corn production, global coarse-grain supplies are about even with those of a year ago. Those supplies will contribute to a decline in U.S. corn exports and a small increase in corn imports through the 2012-2013 marketing year.

According to USDA’s August Feed Outlook report, global coarse grain beginning stocks for 2012-2013 are up 5.8 million tons from last-month’s estimate of 168.5 million tons. Production in Brazil estimated up 2.8 million tons over last month, accounts for much of the increase.

The report projects total world course grain supplies for the 2012-2013 marketing year at 1.3 billion tons, down just 2 percent from a year ago and down a half percent from 2010-2011.

However, the authors note global coarse grain use has increased for each of the last nine years, so supplies have not kept up with demand. It appears the trend toward higher use will shift this year, both in the United States and globally. The report reduced its projection for 2012-2013 world coarse grain use by 43.1 million tons, or 4 percent. For this marketing year, USDA projects overall course-grain use will drop by 0.7 percent, the first decline since 2002-2003. Most of the projected decline is in food, seed and industrial use, while feed and residual use is projected to increase slightly.

Due to production shortfalls and high prices, USDA again cut its forecast for U.S. corn exports, with this month’s report reducing the estimate for the October-September trade year by 6.5 million tons to 33.5

million tons. This would be the lowest level of U.S. corn exports since 1993-1994. Projected higher corn exports from Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Canada will offset much of the decline in U.S. exports, according to the report.

The report projects the United States to emerge as a significant corn importer in 2012-2013, although imports will remain small compared to exports. A projected increase of 1.2 million tons will bring the total to 1.9 million tons of imported corn for the marketing year.

View the entire Feed Outlook report from USDA.