USDA is forecasting slightly smaller production for cotton and soybeans from last month, due to drought and reduced acres, respectively. The agency also made historical changes to China’s rice crop that contributed to a 19 million ton increase in global ending stocks from last month.

In its July 12 supply and demand estimates, USDA reduced estimated U.S. cotton production for 2006-07 marginally to 20.5 million bales, despite larger planted area. Drought is expected to significantly increase abandonment in the Southwest. Projected domestic mill use was reduced to 5.5 million bales based on recent lower consumption levels. Exports were reduced to 16.6 million, consistent with the lower estimated available supply.

The U.S. rice crop for 2006-07 is projected at 200 million hundredweight, 2 percent below last month and 10 percent below 2005-06. The yield for 2006-07 is projected at 6,908 pounds per acre, 39 pounds per acre below last month, and 272 pounds per acre below 2005-06.

Long-grain rice production is projected at 154 million hundredweight, 2 percent below last month, and 13 percent below 2005-06. Combined medium- and short-grain rice production is projected at 46 million hundredweight, 4 percent below last month, but nearly 1 percent above 2005-06.

USDA also made revisions to global rice supply and use because of changes to China’s stocks and domestic use estimates for 1997-98 to 2006-07. This resulted in a new ending stocks estimate for China of 37.4 million tons for 2006-07, compared to last month’s estimate of 18.8 million tons.

Meanwhile, world rice production is projected at a record 418.3 million tons, 700,000 above a month ago, primarily due to a larger crop projected for Bangladesh. Global consumption is projected at 418.1 million tons, 6.7 million tons below last month, while ending stocks are projected at 79.1 million tons, 19 million tons above a month ago.

U.S. soybean production is projected at 3.01 billion bushels, down 70 million bushels from last month because of lower expected harvested area. Lower production and reduced carry-in leave 2006-07 soybean ending stocks at 560 million bushels, down 95 million from last month.

Estimates for corn production were increased because of higher area. Ending stocks are nearly unchanged from last month.

Projected U.S. 2006-07 wheat supplies are up 17 million bushels from last month, as higher beginning stocks and imports more than offset lower production. Forecast winter wheat production was raised 16 million bushels. Imports are raised 5 million bushels.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com