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Corn

On March 8, 2013, the USDA kept its estimate of 2012-2013 U.S. ending stocks from at 632 million bushels, down from 989 million bushels the previous year. The 2012-2013 ending stocks to use ratio is at a lean 6%. On the world scene, the USDA is looking for 2012-2013 ending stocks to decrease from 131 to 117 million tons, or 14% of annual use.

Roughly 8% of U.S. corn production is sold for export. In 2012-2013, the USDA expects exports to be down 47% from a year ago.


Notable Quote:
A combination of record, or near record South American and U.S. crops in 2013 would likely push prices down to or below the long term averages of about $4.75 for corn and $11.00 for soybeans.

Darrell Good, University of Illinois. November 12, 2012.

U.S. Corn Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
Sept. 30,
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 200920102011 2012 2013
Production 9.92 9.50 8.97 10.09 11.81 11.11 10.53 13.04 12.09 13.09 12.45 12.36e 10.78e
Total Use 9.74 9.81 9.49 10.23 10.66 11.27 11.21 12.74 12.06 13.07 13.05 12.53e 11.26e
Ethanol Use na na 1.00 1.17 1.32 1.60 2.12 3.05 3.71 4.59 5.02 5.01e 4.50e
Ending Stocks 1.90 1.60 1.09 .96 2.11 1.97 1.30 1.62 1.67 1.71 1.13 .989e .632e
Stocks/Use ratio .20 .16 .11 .09 .20 .17 .12 .13 .14 .13 .09 .08e .06e

U.S. Corn Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
Sept. 30,
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Production 7.53 7.93 7.48 9.48 6.34 10.10 7.37 9.29 9.21 9.76 9.43
Total Use 8.12 7.76 7.91 8.47 7.62 9.40 8.52 8.85 8.79 9.30 9.51
Ending Stocks 1.34 1.52 1.10 2.11 .85 1.56 .43 .88 1.31 1.79 1.72
Stocks/Use ratio .17 .20 .14 .25 .11 .17 .05 .10 .15 .19 .18

Top Three Producers
In 2012-2013:

U.S. (32% of world production)
China (24%)
EU-27 (7%)
USDA corn crop maps:
USA, China, or Brazil.

CME Group's Contract Specs >

Harvest Time:
Mar-May in South America.
Oct-Nov in the U.S.


Key Events Log - Corn

2013
3-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. stayed at 632 million bushels.
2-21 - USDA predicts 14.53 billion bushel corn crop in 2013.
2-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 602 to 632 million bushels.
1-24 - USDA increases its estimate of Brazil's corn crop from 71 to 72.5 million tons.
1-16 - Texas A&M economist, David Anderson, predicted a 13.4 billion bushel U.S. corn crop in 2013.
1-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 647 to 602 million bushels.
1-11 - USDA: December 1 corn stocks at 8.03 billion bushels, down 17% from a year ago.
1-9 - Brazil's Conab increased corn estimate to 72.2 million tons.

2012
12-19 - Informa Economics predicts 99 million U.S. corn acres in 2013, the most in 76 years.
12-19 - DOE: Ethanol stocks at 20.8 million barrels, the most in six months.
12-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. kept at 647 million bushels.
11-9 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from .619 to .647 billion bushels.
10-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from .733 to .619 billion bushels.
9-28 - USDA: Sept. 1 corn stocks at 988 million bushel, -12% from a year ago and less than expected.
9-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from .650 to .733 billion bushels.
8-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 1.183 to .650 billion bushels.
7-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 1.881 to 1.183 billion bushels.
6-29 - USDA said that 96.4 million acres of corn were planted, up 6% from a year ago and more than expected.
6-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. kept at 1.881 billion bushels.
5-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. set at 1.881 billion bushels.
4-10 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. kept at 801 million bushels.
3-30 - USDA: Planting estimate for corn is 95.9 million acres, more than expected and the most since 1937.
3-30 - USDA: March 1 corn stocks totaled 6.01 billion bushels, less than expected.
3-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. kept at 801 million bushels.
2-23 - USDA estimates 94 million acres of corn will be planted in 2012, the most since 1944.
2-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 846 to 801 million bushels.
1-12 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 848 to 846 million bushels.


Soybeans

On March 8, 2013, the USDA kept its estimate of U.S. 2012-2013 ending stocks at 125 million bushels, down from 169 million bushels the previous year. The resulting 2012-2013 ending stocks to use ratio is a tight 4%. Worldwide, the USDA estimated that 2012-2013 ending stocks will increase from 55 to 60 million tons or 23% of annual use.

Roughly 45% of U.S. soybean production is sold for export. For 2012-2013, the USDA expects exports to be down 1%.

U.S. Soybean Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
Aug. 31,
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Production 2.76 2.89 2.76 2.45 3.12 3.06 3.20 2.68 2.97 3.36 3.33 3.09e 3.01e
Total Use 2.80 2.93 2.79 2.52 2.99 2.87 3.08 3.06 3.05 3.36 3.28 3.15e 3.08e
Ending Stocks .248 .208 .178 .112 .256 .449 .574 .205 .138 .151 .215 .169e .125e
Stocks/Use ratio .09 .07 .06 .04.09 .16 .19 .07 .05 .04 .07 .05e .04e

U.S. Soybean Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
Aug. 31,
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Production 1.92 1.93 1.99 2.19 1.87 2.52 2.18 2.38 2.69 2.74 2.65
Total Use 1.87 1.84 2.04 2.18 1.96 2.40 2.33 2.44 2.63 2.59 2.72
Ending Stocks .239 .329 .278 .292 .209 .335 .183 .131 .200 .348 .290
Stocks/Use ratio .13 .18 .14 .13.11 .14 .08 .05 .08 .13 .11

Top Three Producers
In 2009-2010:

U.S. (35% of world production)
Brazil (26%)
Argentina (21%)
USDA soybean crop maps:
USA and Brazil.

CME Group's Contract Specs >

Harvest Time:
Feb-May in Brazil.
Oct-Nov in the U.S.


Key Events Log - Soybeans

2013
3-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. stayed at 3.08 billion bushels.
2-21 - USDA predicts 3.405 billion bushel soybean crop in 2013.
2-19 - Oil World says Argentine soybeans are "critically dry" and cuts its estimate from 52 to 50 million tons.
2-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 135 to 125 million bushels.
1-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 130 to 135 million bushels.
1-11 - USDA: December 1 soybean stocks at 1.97 billion bushels, down 17% from a year ago.
1-9 - Brazil's Conab increased soybean estimate to 82.7 million tons.
1-3 - Brazil's Ag Ministry estimates their soybean production at a record high 82.6 million tons (v. USDA estimate of 81 million tons). Crop conditions said to be good across all major producing areas.

2012
12-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 140 to 130 million bushels.
11-9 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 130 to 140 million bushels.
10-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 115 to 130 million bushels.
9-28 - USDA: Sept. 1 soybean stocks at 169 million bushels, -21% from a year ago.
9-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. stayed at 115 million bushels.
8-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 130 to 115 million bushels.
7-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 140 to 130 million bushels.
6-29 - USDA said that 76.1 million acres of soybeans were planted, up 1% from a year ago and more than expected.
6-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 145 to 140 million bushels.
5-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. set at 145 million bushels.
4-10 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 275 to 250 million bushels.
3-30 - USDA: Planting estimate for soybeans is 73.9 million acres, less than expected.
3-30 - USDA: March 1 soybean stocks totaled 1.37 billion bushels, less than expected.
3-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. kept at 275 million bushels.
2-23 - USDA estimates 75 million acres of soybeans will be planted in 2012, roughly the same as a year ago.
2-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. kept at 275 million bushels.
1-12 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. increased from 230 to 275 million bushels.


Wheat

On March 8, 2013, the USDA increased its estimate of 2012-2013 U.S. ending stocks from 691 to 716 million bushels, up from 743 million bushels the previous year. The resulting U.S. ending stocks to use ratio for 2012-2013 is 30%, the lowest in four years. Worldwide, the USDA is expecting 2012-2013 ending stocks to fall from 197 to 178 million tons, or 26% of annual use.

Roughly 45% of U.S. wheat production is sold for export. In 2012-2013, the USDA expects wheat exports to be up 9%. As of November 26, 2012, the USDA said that 33% of the winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent, down from 50% a year ago.

U.S. Wheat Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
May 31,
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Production 2.23 1.96 1.61 2.35 2.16 2.11 1.81 2.05 2.50 2.22 2.21 2.00e 2.27e
Total Use 2.40 2.16 1.97 2.35 2.23 2.15 2.04 2.31 2.27 2.02 2.42 2.23e 2.42e
Ending Stocks .876 .777 .491 .546 .540 .571 .456 .306 .657 .976 .862 .743e .716e
Stocks/Use ratio .37 .36 .25 .23 .24 .26 .22 .13 .29 .48e .36e .33e .30e

U.S. Wheat Market Statistics (in billion bushels)
Year ending
May 31,
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Production 2.04 2.74 1.98 2.47 2.40 2.32 2.18 2.29 2.48 2.55 2.30
Total Use 2.22 2.44 2.42 2.48 2.47 2.47 2.38 2.31 2.30 2.43 2.39
Ending Stocks .537 .866 .472 .531 .568 .507 .376 .444 .722 .946 .950
Stocks/Use ratio .24 .35 .20 .21 .23 .21 .16 .19 .31 .39 .40

Top Three Producers
In 2009-2010:

EU-27 (20% of world production)
China (17%)
Russia (9%)
USDA wheat crop maps:
USA spring and USA winter.

CME Group's Contract Specs >

Harvest Time:
May-July for U.S. winter wheat.
July-Aug in Europe.
Aug-Sep for U.S. spring wheat.


Key Events Log - Wheat

2013
3-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 691 to 716 million bushels.
3-7 - U.N. estimates 690 million tons of world wheat production in 2013.
3-5 - Australia's government predicts 688 million tons of world wheat production in 2013-2014.
2-21 - USDA predicts 2.10 billion bushel wheat crop in 2013.
2-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 716 to 691 million bushels.
1-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. was reduced from 754 to 716 million bushels.
1-11 - USDA: December 1 wheat stocks at 1.66 billion bushels, down slightly from a year ago.

2012
12-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 704 to 754 million bushels.
12-5 - Canada's 2012 wheat production hit 27.2 million tons, up 7.6% from the previous year.
11-9 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from .654 to .704 billion bushels.
10-24 - Ukraine's Ag Minister banned wheat exports after November 15.
10-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 698 to 654 million bushels.
9-28 - USDA: Sept. 1 wheat stocks at 2.104 billion bushels, -2% from a year ago.
9-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. stayed at 698 million bushels.
8-20 - SovEcon reduced its esimate of Russia's wheat crop from 41.5 to 40.0 million tons, due to drought.
8-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 664 to 698 million bushels.
7-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 694 to 664 million bushels.
6-29 - USDA said that 56.0 million acres of wheat were planted, up 3% from a year ago.
6-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 735 to 694 million bushels.
5-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. set at 735 million bushels.
4-10 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 825 to 793 million bushels.
3-30 - USDA: Planting estimate for wheat is 55.9 million acres, less than expected. 12.0 million acres of spring wheat, also less than expected.
3-30 - USDA: March 1 wheat stocks totaled 1.20 billion bushels, less than expected.
3-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 845 to 825 million bushels.
2-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 870 to 845 million bushels.
1-12 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 878 to 870 million bushels.


Cotton

On March 8, 2013, the USDA reduced its estimate of U.S. 2012-2013 ending stocks from 4.50 to 4.20 million bales, up from 3.35 million bales the previous year. The 2012-2013 ending stocks to use ratio is estimated at 26%, the most in four years. Worldwide, the USDA expects 2012-2013 ending stocks to increase from 69 to 82 million bales, or 76% of annual use.

Cotton producers are especially dependent on foreign demand as roughly 75% of U.S. cotton production is sold for export. In 2012-2013, the USDA expects cotton exports to be up 9%.


Notable Quote: According to a Varner Brothers analyst based in my (Holly Ray) town of Cleveland, cost of production for cotton in the world ranges from 70c (cents per pound) to 90c, with 80c being a very broad mid point. At 70c Varner says only 10 percent of the world's cotton planters can make a profit, while at 90c nearly all can. Highest cost producers are in Australia, California and Arizona, and these are also noted for very high quality and yield. Low cost countries are mostly in Africa (other than west Africa) and some Asian countries.

DeltaBusinessJournal.com. October 31, 2012.

U.S. Cotton Market Statistics (in million bales)
Year ending
May 31,
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 20082009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Production 17.2 20.3 17.2 18.3 23.3 23.9 21.6 19.2 12.8 12.2 18.1 15.6e 17.0e
Total Use 15.6 18.7 19.2 20.0 21.1 23.4 17.9 18.216.8 15.6 18.3 15.0e 16.1e
Ending Stocks 6.0 7.45 5.39 3.51 5.50 6.05 9.48 10.04 6.34 2.95 2.60 3.35e 4.20e
Stocks/Use ratio .38 .40 .28 .18 .26 .25 .53 .55 .37 .19 .14 .22e .26e

U.S. Cotton Market Statistics (in million bales)
Year ending
May 31,
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
Production 12.2 15.5 17.6 16.2 16.1 19.7 17.9 18.9 18.8 13.9 17.0
Total Use 16.4 15.4 16.3 15.4 17.3 20.6 18.3 18.0 18.8 14.7 17.0
Ending Stocks 3.00 2.60 3.70 4.66 3.53 2.65 2.61 3.97 3.89 3.94 3.92
Stocks/Use ratio .18 .17 .23 .30 .22 .13 .14 .22 .21 .27 .23

Top Three Producers
In 2009-2010:

China (32% of world production)
India (23%)
U.S. (12%)
USDA cotton crop maps:
China and USA.

CME Group's Contract Specs >

Harvest Time:
Sept-Oct in China.
Oct-Dec in the U.S.
Nov-Feb in India.


Key Events Log - Cotton

2013
3-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 4.5 to 4.2 million bales.
2-11 - National Cotton Council predicts 9.02 million planted acres in 2013-2014, the lowest in 30 years.
2-8 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 602 to 632 million bushels.
1-29 - Bloomberg survey: U.S. cotton acres will total 10.32 million in 2013, down 16% from a year ago.
1-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 5.40 to 4.80 million bales.

2012
12-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 5.80 to 5.40 million bales.
12-5 - ICAC: Predicts 2013-2014 world cotton production at 23.2 million tons, down 11% from the previous year.
11-9 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 5.60 to 5.80 million bales.
10-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 5.30 to 5.60 million bales.
9-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 5.50 to 5.30 million bales.
8-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. increased from 4.80 to 5.50 million bales.
7-11 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. reduced from 4.90 to 4.80 million bales.
6-29 - USDA said that 12.6 million acres of cotton were planted, down 14% from a year ago.
6-12 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. kept at 4.90 million bales.
6-4 - International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) predicted that 2012-2013 world ending stocks of cotton will total 14.46 million bales or 61% of annual use, the most since 1998-1999.
5-10 - USDA: 2012-2013 end. stocks est. set at 4.90 million bales.
4-10 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. reduced from 3.90 to 3.40 million bales.
3-30 - USDA: Planting estimate for cotton is 13.2 million acres, down 10% from a year ago.
3-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. increased from 3.80 to 3.90 million bales.
2-9 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. increased from 3.70 to 3.80 million bales.
1-12 - USDA: 2011-2012 end. stocks est. increased from 3.50 to 3.70 million bales.

Tons and Bushels


One million metric tons of corn equals 39.37 million bushels.

One million metric tons of soybeans or wheat equals 36.74 million bushels.

One million metric tons of cotton equals 4.593 million bales.

One bushel of corn produces (roughly) 2.8 gallons of ethanol.

One metric ton of ethanol equals 7.94 petroleum barrels.

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