January 13, 2004



USDA Reduces Forecast For US Corn 2003-04 Ending Stocks


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reduced its ending stocks forecast for U.S. corn in the 2003-04 marketing year to 981 million bushels due to smaller-than-expected production, stronger use and less foreign competition.


The new carryout forecast is a 318-million-bushel drop from the 1.299 billion bushels of ending stocks the USDA was predicting last month.


"Estimated (U.S.) corn production is down by 164 million bushels based on decreased area and yields," the USDA said. "Projected exports are up 50 million bushels from last month because of less competition from Argentina and China, increased world import demand and the strong pace of sales to date."


The USDA, in its monthly supply and demand report, lowered its forecast for U.S. corn production to 10.114 billion bushels, down from last month's prediction of 10.278 billion bushels. The forecast for U.S. exports was raised to 1.975 billion bushels, up from 1.925 billion bushels.


In the January report, the USDA lowered its corn export forecast for Argentina by 1 million metric tons and for China by 500,000 tons, though that was offset by a 1.5-million-ton increase in the prediction for Brazil.

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