As expected, the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report out this morning did lower corn yields as a result of the hot and dry conditions throughout much of the growing region this summer.
The projected U.S. corn yield was lowered 20 bushels per acre to 146 bushels reflecting the rapid decline in crop conditions since early June and based on that and reduced harvested area based on the June 29 Acreage report, WASDE reduced corn production prospects by 1.8 billion bushels from last month. “Persistent and extreme June dryness across the central and eastern Corn Belt and extreme late June and early July heat from the central Plains to the Ohio River Valley have substantially lowered yield prospects across most of the major growing regions,” the report says.
Reduced supplies and higher prices are expected to sharply lower 2012/13 corn usage with the biggest reduction for feed and residual disappearance, projected down 650 million bushels. Food, seed, and industrial use is also projected lower, down 105 million bushels, mostly reflecting a 100-million-bushel reduction in corn used to produce ethanol. Exports are projected 300 million bushels lower as tight supplies, higher prices, and strong competition from South American exporters limit U.S. shipments. A 52-million-bushel increase in beginning stocks and a 15-million-bushel increase in imports offset only a small portion of the expected reduction in this year’s crop. Ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 1.2 billion bushels, down 698 million from last month’s projection. The season average 2012/13 farm price for corn is projected at $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel, up sharply from $4.20 to $5.00 per bushel in June.