USDA increased its estimate for 2014-15 cotton exports by 700,000 bales based on a surge of sales in January and February. The agency’s February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates also reduced U.S. ending stocks for corn and soybeans.
Domestic mill use was lowered 50,000 bales to 3.65 million bales reflecting slower-than-expected consumption through December. Projected U.S. exports were raised 700,000 bales to 10.7 million based on remarkably heavy sales of about 2 million bales for the past 4 weeks, due to strong foreign mill demand for medium- and high-grade cotton.
This level of exports would account for 31 percent of world trade, the highest U.S. share in four seasons. Ending stocks are forecast at 4.2 million bales, down 500,000 bales from last month. World cotton ending stocks are now projected to reach nearly 110 million bales.
Corn ending stocks were reduced 50 million bushels on a 75 million bushel increase in ethanol production, based on higher forecast gasoline consumption. Corn feed and residual use were projected 25 million bushels lower. The projected range for the corn season-average farm price was narrowed 5 cents on both ends to $3.40 to $3.90 per bushel.
Sorghum exports for 2014-15 were raised 30 million bushels with strong export sales and shipments to China. Sorghum ending stocks are projected 5 million bushels lower. The sorghum farm price range is narrowed 5 cents on each end to $3.55 to $4.05 per bushel.
All rice imports were increased 1 million hundredweight to 23 million, all in combined medium- and short-grain rice. The forecast for all rice exports was unchanged at 103 million hundredweight, with long grain exports increasing 1 million hundredweight to 71 million hundredweight, and medium- and short-grain declining 1 million to 32 million hundredweight.
All rice ending stocks were raised 1 million hundredweight to nearly 42 million. Long-grain stocks were lowered 1 million to 28.1 million, and combined medium- and short-grain stocks were raised 2 million to 11.5 million.
The 2014-15 long-grain season-average price range was narrowed to $11.90 to $12.50 per hundredweight, up 20 cents on the low end of the range and down 20 cents on the upper end.
The all combined medium- and short-grain season-average price range was narrowed to $17.90 to $18.70 per hundredweight, down 10 cents on the low end of the range and a decrease of 30 cents on the high end.
Two additional combined medium- and short-grain farm prices were introduced this month — a California price (on an October-September basis) and a price for Other States (on an August-July basis). The California combined medium- and short-grain price is forecast with a midpoint of $20 per hundredweight, and the midpoint for the Other States is $15.10.
Global 2013-14 rice production is forecast at 474.6 million tons, down 900,000 tons from last month.
Soybean exports for 2014-15 are projected at 1.790 billion bushels, up 20 million bushels. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 385 million bushels, down 25 million from last month. The 2014-15 season-average soybean price range projection is unchanged at $9.45 to $10.95 per bushel.
Global soybean production was raised 700,000 tons to a record 315.1 million. Prospects for the Argentina soybean crop have improved with ample moisture and mild temperatures, and the crop is projected at a record 56 million tons.
U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2014-15 are projected 5 million bushels higher as reduced exports more than offset an import reduction.
Projected imports are lowered 20 million bushels to 160 million. Projected exports are lowered 25 million bushels to 900 million on increased competition from EU and the recent strengthening of the dollar. Ending stocks are increased to 692 million bushels. World wheat production remains record high and was raised 1.7 million tons.
Click for a video report of USDA's Feb. 12 export report: