|Corn use for ethanol. Click to enlarge.|
Slightly more than 20% of the forecast 10.55 billion bushels of corn to be produced in the US this year—about 2.15 billion bushels—will go toward the production of fuel ethanol, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). That use of corn for ethanol represents a 34% increase from the year prior.
That amount matches for the first time projected exports of corn from the US, also forecast to be approximately 2.15 billion bushels in 2006—a 6% increase from last year.
The USDA corn crop forecast of 10.55 billion bushels is 5% lower than last year’s production. Total corn supply, at 12.8 billion bushels, is down 3% as the smaller corn crop is only partially offset by higher beginning stocks.
Projected 2006/07 corn use expands 6% to a record 11.6 billion bushels. The increase in exports is due, according to the USDA, to reduced foreign competition and lower global feed-quality wheat supplies.
The 2006/07 global coarse grains outlook includes slightly lower production, increased consumption, and lower ending stocks. Smaller coarse grain crops in the United States more than offset higher foreign production. Production increases are significant for Argentina and EU-25. Global coarse grain trade is up slightly while consumption is up 2.7 percent. China’s corn stocks continue to fall; global corn ending stocks drop 29 percent to 92 million tons, the lowest in more than 20 years.