WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture on Feb. 9 lowered its 2021 carryover forecasts for corn and soybeans on increased export demand especially from China.

The USDA lowered its forecast for the US carryover of corn on Sept. 1, 2021, to 1,502 million bus, down 50 million bus from the January projection and down 417 million bus, or 22%, from 1,919 million bus in 2020. The revised forecast was well above the average of pre-report trade estimates at 1,392 million bus.

If the forecast is realized, the 2021 corn carryover would be the smallest since 1,232 million bus in 2014.

The USDA tied the lower carryover forecast directly to a 50-million-bu increase in the USDA’s projection for 2020-21 corn exports to a record 2,600 million bus, which was up 822 million bus, or 46%, from 1,778 million bus in 2019-20.

All other 2020-21 corn use forecasts were unchanged from January with feed and residual use at 5,650 million bus versus 5,903 million in 2019-20, and food, seed and industrial use at 6,375 million bus compared with 6,282 million bus in 2019-20 The food, seed and industrial use forecast included 4,950 million bus for use in ethanol versus 4,852 million bus in 2019-20 and 5,378 million bus in 2018-19.

The USDA projected the carryover of soybeans in the United States on Sept. 1, 2021, at 120 million bus, down 20 million from the January forecast and down 405 million bus, or 77%, from 525 million bus in 2020. The 2021 soybean carryover was forecast to be the smallest since 92 million bus in 2014 and compared with 474 million bus as the recent five-year average carryover.

The USDA raised its forecast for 2020-21 US soybean exports to a record 2,250 million bus, up 20 million bus from the January outlook and up 568 million bus, or 34%, from 1,682 million bus in 2020-21.

“Soybean exports are projected at 2.25 billion bus, up 20 million from last month reflecting record marketing-year exports through January and a slow start to Brazil’s export season resulting from harvest delays,” the USDA said.