USDA did not make changes in production forecasts for major U.S. crops in its Feb. 9 Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, but continued to tweak U.S. and world export and world production figures.

Cotton

USDA projected marginally lower domestic mill use for cotton in 2011-12 compared with the previous month, and did not change the production estimate of 15.67 million bales. Ending stocks were raised 100,000 bales to 3.8 million, for a stocks-to-use ratio of 26 percent.

World 2011-12 cotton production was raised 505,000 bales due largely to higher estimated production for Pakistan. Forecast world consumption was reduced slightly, including decreases for Thailand, the United States, and others. World ending stocks are now forecast at 60.8 million bales, an increase of nearly 14 million bales from the beginning level. The stocks-to-use ratio of just over 55 percent is sharply higher than the past two seasons and about equal to the 2008-09 level.

Corn

USDA raised its projection of U.S. corn exports by 50 million bushels due to reduced supplies in Argentina. Corn ending stocks are projected 45 million bushels lower at 801 million.

Argentina corn production was lowered 4 million tons to 22 million as field reports confirm that high temperatures and extensive dryness during pollination in late December and early January resulted in irreversible damage to early corn in the central growing region. Global corn ending stocks are projected at the lowest level since 2006-07.

Rice

USDA lowered forecast rice exports by 1 million hundredweight from the previous month to 89 million, all in long-grain. The rough rice export projection was lowered 1 million hundredweight to 32 million, while forecast combined milled- and brown-rice exports were unchanged at 57 million. The reduction in the export projection is due primarily to the slower-than-expected pace of sales and shipments to mostly to Central America, due mainly to increased competition from Brazil and greater domestic supplies in some countries.

An increase in forecast global rice production is due mostly to increases for India and the Philippines, which were partially offset by reductions for Brazil, Egypt, Argentina, and the United States. The U.S. rice crop (milled equivalent basis) was lowered slightly resulting entirely from the decrease in the average milling yield. India’s rice crop is forecast at a record 102 million tons, up 2 million from last month due to an increase in both harvested area and yield.

Brazil’s rice crop estimate was lowered 340,000 tons due to the effects of drought in Rio Grande do Sul, an important rice producing state. Global exports were raised 1.4 million tons.

Soybeans

Soybean exports are projected at 1.275 billion bushels, down 226 million from last year. Brazil soybean production is forecast at 72 million tons, down 2 million due to lower projected yields. Argentina soybean production is projected at 48 million tons, down 2.5 million.

China soybean imports were reduced 1 million tons to 55.5 million tons.

Wheat

U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2011-12 are projected lower than last month, while projected exports were raised 25 million bushels on stronger-than-expected pace of sales and shipments, particularly for competitively priced feed-quality wheat.

Ending stocks for all wheat are projected 25 million bushels lower at 845 million. Global wheat supplies for 2011-12 are projected 2.1 million tons higher.