Total U.S. corn use for 2013/14 is projected at 12,920 million bushels, 1,785 million over 2012/13 but lower than 2009/10 and 2010/11, when total use exceeded 13 billion bushels. Disappearance is projected higher on increased use for feed and residual, FSI, and exports. Projected feed and residual disappearance is projected at 5,325 million bushels, 925 million over 2012/13. FSI gains 310 million bushels as ethanol takes more corn, and exports are projected up 550 million from the current year projection of 750 million bushels. One indication of an easing of the intense rationing that has characterized the corn market since early last summer is a 1,785-million-bushel gain in total corn used.

Ending stocks of corn for 2013/14 are projected at 2,004 bushels, 1,245 million bushels higher than the 2012/13 projection. At 15.5 percent, the stocks-to-use ratio is projected to recover from very low levels seen since 2009/10.

Record corn plantings, improved yield boost production forecast

The 2013/14 U.S. crop is projected at a record 14.1 billion bushels, 3.4 billion above last season’s drought-stricken crop. Yields are set at 158 bushels per acre, 5.6 bushels below the weather-adjusted trend presented at USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in February due to delayed planting through early May. Planting progress by mid-May is expected to remain well below the 10-year average, supporting this month’s lower yield projection. As of the May 6 Crop Progress report, 12 percent of the corn crop had been planted in the 18 reporting States, compared with 69 percent last year and 47 percent for the 2008-12 average. Unseasonably cold weather, in combination with heavy rains in April, has delayed field work.

Beginning corn stocks for 2013/14 are forecast at 759 million bushels, the smallest since the beginning of the 1996/97 marketing year as stocks have declined over the 3 preceding years. This season's beginning stocks are 230 million bushels below 2012/13. With the largest plantings since 1936, total supply is expected to be 14.9 billion bushels, up 3.0 billion from the current season and also a record high, exceeding the 2009/10 supply estimate by 151 million bushels.