USDA reduces forecasts for corn use in ethanol

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2022

The USDA reduced its forecast for 2022-’23 corn use in ethanol in its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released Oct. 12. The agency also slightly lowered its estimate for 2021-’22 corn use in ethanol.

The October 2022-’23 U.S. corn outlook is for reduced supplies, greater feed and residual use, and lower exports and corn used for ethanol, and smaller ending stocks.

The USDA now forecasts 2022-’23 corn production at 13.895 billion bushels, down 49 million on a reduction in yield to 171.9 bushels per acre. Core supplies are forecast at 15.322 billion bushels, a decline of 172 million from the September WASDE, as lower production and beginning stocks are partially offset by higher imports. Exports are lowered 125 million bushels reflecting smaller supplies and slow early-season demand. Projected feed and residual use is raised 50 million bushels based on indicated disappearance during 2021-’22.

The USDA lowered its projection for 2022-’23 corn use in ethanol by 50 million bushels to 5.275 billion. The agency also reduced its estimate for 2021-’22 corn use in ethanol to 5.328 billion bushels, down slightly from the 5.33 billion bushels estimated the previous month. According to the agency, 2020-’21 corn use in ethanol was at 5.033 billion bushels.

With supply falling more than use, corn ending stocks for 2020-’23 are cut 47 million bushels. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised 5 cents to $6.80 per bushel.

The 2020-’23 forecast for foreign corn production is reduced as declines for the European Union and Serbia are partly offset by an increase for India. EU corn production is lowered, reflecting reductions for Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and France. India corn production is raised based on the latest government statistics.

Corn exports are raised for Ukraine and India but lowered for the U.S. and Serbia. For 2021-’22, corn exports for Argentina are lowered for the local marketing year beginning March 2022 based on shipments through the month of September. For 2022-’23, corn imports are lowered for Iran, Japan and Vietnam, but raised for the EU and U.S. Foreign corn ending stocks are down, mostly reflecting reductions for China and Ukraine. Global corn stocks, at 301.2 million tons, are down 3.3 million.