USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board estimates smaller corn and soybean crops from last month and a slightly larger cotton crop. WAOB’s Jan. 12 report on agricultural supply and demand also raised U.S. ending stocks for cotton, soybeans and rice, and lowered the same for corn.

Cotton

U.S. cotton production for 2006-07 is now estimated at 21.7 million bales, 2 percent above last month, due to higher production in Texas and the Southeast.

Domestic mill use was reduced 100,000 bales to 5 million bales.

Exports were lowered 300,000 bales to 15.7 million bales, due to the continued sluggish pace of export sales and shipments and a significant reduction in the import forecast for China.

If realized, the carryover projection of 7.1 million bales would be the largest since 2001-02.

World cotton production was raised 0.7 percent, as increases in Brazil, China, Pakistan, and the United States were partially offset by decreases for Turkey, Greece, Syria, and others.

World consumption was raised marginally, due mainly to an increase for India.

China’s imports were reduced 1.25 million bales from last month due to lagging purchases and an announcement that the government would defer issuance of additional import quotas until March or later.

Exports were reduced in the United States, Syria, and Greece.

Corn

U.S. corn production was estimated 210 million bushels lower, reflecting lower planted and harvested area and a 2.1-bushel-per-acre reduction in average yield. As a result, U.S. corn ending stocks for 2006-07 are projected at 752 million bushels, down 183 million bushels from last month.

Feed and residual use was projected 75 million bushels lower based on the smaller crop and higher prices.

Corn food and industrial use was lowered 5 million bushels, reflecting lower use by the sweetener industry during the September-November quarter.

Exports were raised 50 million bushels, based on the continued strength of export demand.

The projected price range is up 10 cents on each end of the range to $3 to $3.40 per bushel.

Sorghum

Sorghum production for 2006 was estimated 11 million bushels lower this month as lower harvested area more than offset a 2-bushel-per-acre increase in yield.

Sorghum feed and residual was raised 15 million bushels, based on first quarter use.

Exports were lowered 10 million bushels as export sales to Mexico have remained below earlier expectations.

Sorghum 2006-07 ending stocks are projected 5 million bushels lower.

Prices are projected 10 cents higher on each end of the range to $3 to $3.40 per bushel.

Rice

The U.S. 2006-07 rice crop is estimated at 193.7 million hundredweight, 13 percent below 2005-06. Average yield for 2006-07 is estimated at 6,868 pounds per acre, up 21 pounds per acre from last month and 232 pounds per acre above 2005-06.

Imports for 2006-07 are projected at 18 million hundredweight, unchanged from last month.

Projected exports are unchanged at 102 million hundredweight. However, long-grain exports were increased 1 million hundredweight while combined medium-and short-grain exports were reduced 1 million hundredweight.

Ending stocks for 2006-07 were projected at 29.9 million hundredweight, up slightly from last month.

The season-average farm price range was raised 15 cents per hundredweight on the low end and increased 5 cents on the high end to $9.70 to $10 per hundredweight, compared to $7.62 per hundredweight in 2005-06. The midpoint of the price range at $9.85 per hundredweight would be the highest season-average farm price since 1996-97 ($9.96 per hundredweight).

Global rice production, consumption, and ending stocks for 2006-07 were lowered from a month ago. The decline in global rice production is due primarily to a smaller crop projected for Indonesia (down 1.4 million tons to 33.7 million tons).

Global exports were raised 800,000 tons due to increases for Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Imports were projected higher by 1 million tons mostly due to an increase for Indonesia.

Global ending stocks at 77.7 million tons were down 900,000 tons from last month, and are the lowest stocks since 1983-84.

Soybeans

Soybean production is estimated at 3.188 billion bushels, down 16 million bushels from last month based on lower yields. Soybean yield is estimated at 42.7 bushels per acre, below last year’s record of 43 bushels per acre.

Soybean exports were reduced 25 million bushels to 1.12 billion bushels, reflecting weaker-than-expected shipments in November and December.

Soybean ending stocks are projected at a record 575 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from last month.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2006-07 is narrowed to $5.75 to $6.45 per bushel.

Global soybean production is projected at 226.9 million tons, up 100,000 tons from last month. Argentina’s soybean crop was increased 500,000 tons this month to a record 42.5 million tons. Good weather during the early part of the growing season has improved yield prospects.

Wheat

Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2006-07 were raised 34 million bushels due to changes in projected trade. Imports were raised 10 million bushels, while exports were lowered 25 million bushels reflecting the slow pace of shipments and sales as a result of strong U.S. prices.

The projected price range is unchanged at $4.15 to $4.45 per bushel.

Global 2006-07 wheat production is projected 2.2 million tons higher this month, due to larger crops in Russia and the European Union. Global consumption was raised 1.2 million tons reflecting increases in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, and India. Wheat imports were reduced for Iraq and Pakistan. Higher exports for Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania were more than offset by lower exports for Ukraine, the EU, India, and the United States.

With more production, global ending stocks for 2006-07 were raised 1.1 million tons.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com