USDA lowered its estimate of the U.S. cotton crop by nearly a half-million bales from last month, but made few other changes in its Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for December. Here are the highlights.
U.S. cotton production is now forecast at 15.9 million bales, down 3 percent from last month but up 23 percent from last year. The 474,000-bale decline from last month is due to a lower crop estimate for Texas.
U.S. yield is expected to average 773 pounds per harvested acre, down 48 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 15.3 million bales, up 25 percent from 2013. Pima production is unchanged, forecast at 578,000 bales.
Ending stocks are now forecast at 4.6 million bales, or one-third of total disappearance. Global cotton ending stocks for 2014-15 were raised again this month, to just over 108 million bales, while global consumption was reduced nearly 1.3 million bales.
U.S. long-grain exports were increased 1 million hundredweight to 69 million, bringing all rice exports to 103 million hundredweight. Combined medium- and short-grain exports are unchanged at 34 million hundredweight. All rice ending stocks were lowered 1 million hundredweight to 39.9 million with long-grain stocks reduced to 27 million, and combined medium- and short- grain stocks unchanged at 10.6 million.
Global rice production is projected at 475.2 million tons, up 200,000 tons from last month due primarily to increased forecasts for China and South Korea. China’s rice production is forecast at a record 144.5 million tons, up 500,000 tons from last month and up more than 1 percent from last year.
Global rice consumption for 2014-15 is forecast at a record 482.9 million tons, down slightly from last month.
Estimated soybean exports were increased 40 million bushels to 1.76 billion bushels reflecting the record export pace in recent weeks and prospects for additional sales and shipments ahead of the South American harvest. Soybean ending stocks for 2014-15 are projected at 410 million bushels, down 40 million from last month but still the highest since 2006-07.
Global soybean production is projected at a record 312.8 million tons with gains this month for Canada, Ukraine, and Paraguay.
Projected U.S. wheat supplies for 2014-15 were raised 10 million bushels this month with higher projected imports. Global wheat supplies for 2014-15 were raised 1.9 million tons with increased production offsetting lower beginning stocks. World wheat production remains at a record high.
Global wheat consumption for 2014-15 is down slightly, and global ending stocks are projected 2 million tons higher mostly on increases for Canada, EU, and Russia.
Forecast corn production for Argentina was lowered 1 million tons reflecting lower expected plantings, but the reduction in area is partly offset by higher expected yields with abundant early season soil moisture in key growing areas. Global corn ending stocks are projected 700,000 tons higher mostly reflecting the larger China corn crop.