U.S. corn production for 2010/11 is decreased 93 million bushels this month to 12,447 million bushels. This month’s decrease reflects a decrease in the average corn yield, down 1.5 bushels per acre to 152.8 bushels per acre. The decrease in yield outweighs an 183,000-acre increase in harvested area to 81.4 million acres.

Projected feed and residual use is lowered 100 million bushels to 5,200 million, reflecting lower-than-expected September-November disappearance as indicated by December 1 stocks. September-November corn food, seed, and industrial use was higher than the same months last year, partly reflecting increased use for sweeteners and starch. Corn used for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in September-November 2010 was 126.2 million bushels, up from 119.1 million bushels during the same months in 2009. Corn used for glucose and dextrose during September-November 2010 was 65.1 million bushels, up from 61.8 million bushels during the same months in 2009. In September-November, corn used for starch production was 66.0 million bushels, up from 59.8 million bushels during the same period last year.

Corn used for fuel alcohol production from September-November 2010 is estimated at 1,218 million bushels, up from 1,058 million in the same period last year. Record ethanol production in December indicated by The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly data boosted first quarter corn use and resulted in a marketing year increase of corn used for fuel by 100 million bushels to 4,900 million. As the industry approaches the blend wall, exports of ethanol have strengthened during 2010, providing an additional outlet for U.S. production.

U.S. corn exports for 2010/11 remain unchanged this month at 1,950 million bushels. Total projected corn use for 2010/11 is also unchanged at 13,430 million bushels, up from 13,066 million in 2009/10. Corn ending stocks for 2010/11 are expected to be 745 million bushels, down 88 million bushels from last month as the decrease in production is only partly offset by a 5-million-bushel increase in projected imports. Ending stocks are down 963 million bushels from last year. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.5 percent, the lowest since 1995/96 when it dropped to 5.0 percent.

With decreases in supplies, the 2010/11 season average price received by farmers is projected 10 cents higher on both ends to $4.90 to $5.70 per bushel.

Changes are also made this month to the 2009/10 corn supply and use tables. Corn area planted and harvested is lowered slightly, which decreases production 18 million bushels to 13,092 million. These revisions result in an offsetting 18-million-bushel decrease in 2009/10 feed and residual use to 5,140 million bushels.

Source: USDA/ERS