Weekly Product Updates

W28: Maize (Corn) Update

Maize (Corn)
Published Jul 21, 2023

In W28 in the maize (corn) landscape, in its July report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts 2023/24 global corn production at 1.224 billion metric tons (mt), slightly higher than the June 1.222 billion mt estimate. This increase is primarily due to the expanded planted areas offsetting lower yields. The United States (US) corn production forecast was raised to 389.1 million mt (mmt), an increase of 1.4 mmt compared to the June estimate. Similar increases are projected for Ukraine to 25 mmt (+0.5), and Canada to 15 mmt (+0.7). However, the European Union (EU) corn harvest forecast was reduced to 63.4 mmt, down 0.9%. The 2023/24 global corn export forecast was raised to 198.26 mmt, primarily driven by an upward adjustment for Ukraine (19.5 mmt). The 2023/24 EU corn import forecast was also increased to 24 mmt. The 2023/24 global corn ending stock was raised to 314.12 mmt, with 57.45 mmt attributed to the US due to a reduction in the use of corn for ethanol production.

The USDA reports that the 2023/24 US corn yield estimate was revised downwards from the 181.5 bushels per acre estimate in Jun-23 to 177.5 bushels per acre in Jul-23. This downward adjustment is due to a dry June start to crop development in many US Corn Belt areas, which has impacted the yield potential. The USDA increased the 2023/24 US corn production forecast by 55 million bushels while opening stocks are projected to be 50 million bushels lower. The 2023/24 US corn import and export projections remained unchanged at 25 million bushels and 2.1 billion bushels, respectively. Similarly, the US corn domestic total remained unchanged at 12.39 billion bushels, still above 2022’s 12.08 billion bushels. The 2023/24 US corn ending stock estimates were also raised by 5 million bushels to 2.26 billion bushels, with an 860 million bushels year-on-year) YoY increase. The 2023 average farm price remains at USD 4.80 per bushel, lower than USD 6.60 per bushel in 2022.

SAFRAS and Mercado expect 2023/24 Brazilian corn production to decrease to 137.4 mmt, approximately 2 mmt below the 2022/23 crop. This decrease is attributed to a decline in the planting area. The 2023/24 area planted with corn is expected to be around 22 million hectares (ha), about 200 thousand ha less than in the 2022/23 season. Corn cultivation is expected to experience a decrease both in the summer, when it competes for land with soybeans, and in the winter, amid lower commodity prices. Despite falling corn production costs, discouraging price levels have deterred producers from expanding the cultivated area. The first 2023/24 corn crop planting in the center-south is projected at 4.08 million ha, a decrease of about 100 thousand ha compared to the 2022/23 crop. Meanwhile, the second-corn crop area, which accounts for most of Brazil's corn production, is estimated at 15.4 million ha, also around 100 thousand ha less than in the 2022/23 season. The 2024 second crop potential production is expected to reach 96.45 mmt, lower than the record 100.16 mmt volume projected for 2023. 

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