U.S. ending stocks for corn, wheat, rice and soybeans moved lower on higher export forecasts for those crops, released in December, while ending stocks for cotton moved higher on increased production. Here’s more from USDA’s world supply and demand estimates.

Wheat

Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2007-08 were lowered 32 million bushels reflecting higher expected domestic use and exports. At 280 million bushels, ending stocks would be the lowest in 60 years. Exports are projected 25 million bushels higher on increased foreign imports and reduced supplies and exports for key competitor countries. The projected season-average farm price is raised 30 cents on each end of the range to $6.20 to $6.60 per bushel, reflecting sharply higher cash and futures prices. The projected range is well above the record of $4.55 per bushel in 1995-96.

Global wheat production for 2007-08 was lowered 1 million tons in December. Production in Argentina is projected 500,000 tons lower this month as a November freeze reduced crop prospects in the major southern producing areas.

Soybeans

Major changes USDA made in soybean supplies from last month include lowering U.S. ending stocks by 25 million bushels to 185 million bushels, a 68 percent decline from 2006-07. Soybean exports were raised 20 million bushels based on stronger-than-expected sales to China. Soybean crush was raised 5 million bushels this month due to improved soybean meal export prospects.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2007-08 is projected at $9.25 to $10.25 per bushel, up 75 cents on both ends of the range, reflecting sharply higher cash and soybean futures prices.

Cotton

U.S. cotton production was raised 125,000 bales, due to small increases in several states. Ending stocks are raised 100,000 bales to 7.7 million bales. Yield is expected to average 864 pounds up 5 pounds from last month. Record yields are expected in Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

World production was reduced, but by less than 1 percent. World trade was raised marginally due to higher imports by Pakistan. World ending stocks were raised nearly 1 percent from last month to 55.3 million bales.

Corn

U.S. corn ending stocks for 2007-08 were projected 100 million bushels lower in December. Forecast corn exports were raised 100 million bushels on expected increases in foreign consumption and imports. At a projected 2.45 billion bushels, 2007-08 corn exports would be a record, surpassing the previous record of 2.4 billion bushels in 1979-80.

The season-average farm price for corn is projected at $3.35 to $3.95 per bushel, up 15 cents on both ends of the range based on reported prices to date and higher cash and futures prices. The sorghum season-average price is projected 20 cents higher on each end of the range to $3.20 to $3.80 per bushel.

Global corn production for 2007-08 is projected 1.1 million tons higher this month.

email: erobinson@farmpress.com