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The world corn supply-and-demand situation in 2012-13 was expected to remain tight even as the world’s growers are forecast to harvest another record crop, according to the International Grains Council.
The I.G.C. forecast 2012-13 world corn ending stocks at 129 million tonnes, up 7 million tonnes from the projection for the current year at 122 million tonnes but down from 133 million tonnes in 2010-11, 148 million tonnes in 2009-10 and 150 million tonnes in 2008-09.

The I.G.C. said, “The supply and demand outlook for maize is projected to remain quite tight in 2012-13, but a larger crop, including a major upturn in the United States, is expected to be not entirely absorbed by demand, leaving room for a modest rise in stocks. Due to favorable pricing and good potential returns, total plantings are expected to reach an all-time high and, based on normal growing weather and trend yields, output is projected to increase by 4% from last year to 900 million tonnes.”

World corn production has increased in each of the past six years and posted a new record in each of the past five years. The I.G.C. estimated the 2011-12 world corn crop at 864 million tonnes.
World corn consumption in 2012-13 was projected at a new record 893 million tonnes, up from a forecast record 874 million tonnes in 2011-12.

The I.G.C. said, “Rising meat demand will support feed use, but competition from lower-grade wheat and barley will again be a factor. Growth in industrial use is likely to be slower than in recent years; starch production in China will increase further, but U.S. ethanol production is forecast to dip because of stalling domestic and export demand.”

The I.G.C. projected world feed use of corn in 2012-13 to rise to 509 million tonnes, up from a forecast 494 million tonnes in the current year. Global industrial use of corn in 2012-13 was forecast at 251 million tonnes, up 1% from 248 million tonnes as the projection for the current year.

World food use of corn in 2012-13 was projected at 99 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from the 2011-12 forecast.

World trade in corn in 2012-13 was projected at 100 million tonnes, up from 94 million tonnes as the forecast for the current year and compared with 93 million tonnes in 2010-11.

The I.G.C. said, “While price competition from lower-grade wheat is likely to remain strong, some buyers, including South Korea and Israel, are expected to include more maize in industrial feeds. Good regional availabilities and generally firm demand could result in increased purchases by the European Union, but imports by Mexico may decline due to a larger domestic crop. Following last year’s devastating earthquake in Japan, somewhat firmer demand could lift shipments back to 16 million tonnes. Due to rising use, high internal transportation costs and tightening domestic supplies, imports by China are forecast to increase for a fourth consecutive year, to 6 million tonnes. The overall volume will depend on the results of the next harvest, as well as world and domestic prices.”