KSU Corn Market Outlook – Corn Market Scenarios for “New Crop” MY 2015/16

An analysis of U.S. and World corn supply-demand factors and 2015/16 price prospects in mid-late May 2015, following the USDA’s May 12th USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, will be available on the KSU AgManager website  (http://www.agmanager.info/default.asp).

Following is a summary of the article on “Corn Market Outlook in May 2015″ with the full article and accompanying analysis will soon be available on the KSU AgManager website at the following web address: http://www.agmanager.info/marketing/outlook/newletters/archives/GRAIN-OUTLOOK_05-18-15_Corn.pdf




Since the USDA released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on May 12th, corn futures prices have moved sideways-to-higher. This is a temporary change from the downtrend in corn futures prices since January that had resulted in lows during late April-early May. With 1) a record high 2014 U.S. corn crop of 14.216 billion bushels (bb), and 2) prospects for another large U.S. crop in the 13.2-13.7 bb range in 2015, the likelihood of corn futures prices having a strong rally to $5.00 or above in coming months appear limited – unless unexpected, substantial crop production or export availability problems occur in either the U.S. or in other major coarse grain production and exporting regions of the World in coming months. As a caveat, IF major geopolitical conflicts and/or financial market problems occurred, it would could cause grain markets to be extremely volatile, but the direction of such potential price changes is difficult to predict.

USDA U.S. Corn Market Forecast

The USDA made it first official WASDE forecast of U.S. corn supply-demand and prices for the “new crop” 2015/16 marketing year in the May 12th report. The USDA projected lower production and marginally lower ending stocks, stocks-to-use, and U.S. prices for “new crop” MY 2015/16 than for the “current” 2014/15 marketing year. Projected 2015 U.S. corn production of 13.630 bb and total supplies of 15.506 bb (billion bushels) in “new crop” MY 2015/16 are both down from record high levels of 14.216 bb production and 15.472 bb total supplies in “current” MY 2014/15. Projected MY 2015/16 total corn usage of 13.760 bb is a record (up from 13.622 bb in MY 2014/15), with ethanol use of 5.200 bb (same as a year ago), non-ethanol FSI use of 1.360 bb, exports of 1.900 bb (up 100 mb vs last year), and feed and residual use of 5.300 bb (up 50 mb vs last year). Ending stocks are forecast at 1.746 bb (12.69% S/U) – down from 1.851 bb (13.59% S/U) in “current” MY 2014/15, but still up from 1.232 bb (9.2% S/U) in MY 2013/14, and 821 mb (7.4% S/U) in MY 2012/133. “New crop” MY 2015/16 U.S. average cash prices are forecast the range of $3.20-$3.80 per bu. (midpoint of $3.50) – which compares to $3.65 /bu in “current” MY 2014/15, and $4.46 in MY 2013/14.

KSU U.S. Corn Market Forecasts

Projected supply-demand and price scenarios by KSU for “new crop” MY 2015/16 are as follows:

a) “2015 “Normal Crop” 13.262 bb Production” Scenario (55% prob.): 89.199 ma planted, 81.715 ma harvested, KSU long term trend yield of 162.25 bu/ac, 2015 U.S. corn production of 13.262 bb, total supplies of 15.138 bb, total use of 13.730 bb, ending stocks of 1.408 bb, 10.25% S/U, & $4.25 /bu U.S. corn MYA prices;

b) “2015 “Smaller Normal Crop” 13.190 bb Production” Scenario (25% prob.): 88.750 ma planted, 81.295 ma harvested, KSU long term trend yield of 162.25 bu/ac, 2015 U.S. corn production of 13.190 bb, total supplies of 15.006 bb, total use of 13.730 bb, ending stocks of 1.336 bb, 9.73% S/U, & $4.35 /bu U.S. corn MYA prices;

c) “2015 “Short Crop” 12.666 bb Production” Scenario (20% prob.): Planted and harvested acres unchanged Scenario (a) above, but with a KSU low yield forecast of 155.0 bu/ac, U.S. corn production of 12.666 bb, total supplies of 14.542 bb, total use of 13.450 bb, ending stocks of 924 mb, 6.87% S/U, & $6.75 /bu U.S. corn MYA prices.

World Corn Supply-Demand

World total supplies of 1,182 mmt are projected for “new crop” MY 2015/16, up from 1,170 mmt in “current” MY 2014/15, and 1,007 mmt in MY 2013/14. Projected World corn ending stocks of 191.9 mmt (19.4% S/U) in “new crop” MY 2015/16 are down marginally from 195.5 mmt (19.7% S/U) in “current” MY 2014/15, but up from 173.8 mmt (18.2% S/U) in MY 2013/14. With closing CME NOV-2015 soybean futures of $9.34 ½ and CME DEC-2015 corn futures of $3.82 ¾ on 4/30/2015, the soybean/corn price ratio of 2.44 still favors the planting of soybeans in the U.S. in 2015.

A lack of profitability for both currently with the 2014 crop, and in 2015 at current fall 2015 harvest contract prices is likely to limit U.S. corn planted acres and corn production potential. Lower 2015 production eventually may provide at least moderate support for U.S. corn prices in “new crop” MY 2015/16 in the spring and early summer of next year.


Corn Emergence in 2014 (Source: http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/2014-midwest-corn-amp-soybean-production-guide/uniform-emergence-must)


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