February 24, 2006


IGC keeps 2005/06 world corn output at 683 million tonnes



The International Grains Council (IGC) Thursday (Feb 23) kept its 2005/06 world corn output forecast unchanged, but raised consumption to a fresh record high.


IGC continues to estimate 2005/06 world corn output at 683 million tonnes, down from 706 million tonnes last year.


But in the same report, the IGC did trim its forecast for Argentina corn output by 1.5 million tonnes to 14.5 million tonnes due to early season dryness.


World corn consumption for 2005/06 was forecast up one million tonnes to a record 676 million tonnes.


IGC said, "A further 600,000-tonne increase in expected (corn) use by the US ethanol industry to 40.6 million tonnes takes total US (corn) consumption to a new high of 228 million tonnes."


World 2005/06 corn trade is now forecast by the IGC at 76.4 million tonnes, 400,000 tonnes higher than before. "The biggest import change is for Taiwan, up 400,000 tonnes to 5.0 million tonnes," the IGC said.


The agency kept its forecast for US 2005/06 corn exports (September-August) unchanged at 47 million tonnes, but said they will need to raise that figure if shipments continue at their recent rate.


"Smaller supplies will limit Argentina's exports to 10.5 million tonnes in the marketing year ending February 2007, 1.5 million tonnes less than last month's forecast," the IGC said.


World corn carryover stocks at the end of 2005/06 are forecast at 135 million tonnes, 2 million less than last month, but still 7 million tonnes more than last year.


"US stocks are still set to reach a 19-year high of 61.6 million tonnes," the IGC said.