What is in this article?:
• The three largest drivers of U.S. grain prices over the next few years will be demand from the domestic ethanol industry, import demand from China and supply performance in Brazil
A summary of the complete report follows:
• Rabobank lowers medium-term (one to three years) average U.S. corn mid-point price expectations from USD 6.00 to USD 5.00 per bushel.
• Softer medium-term prices will pressure corn farming margins and see acreage to corn contract by 5 million to 6 million acres in the medium term in favor of other crops or uses
• Demand headwinds for U.S. grains from both the U.S. ethanol industry and China along with strong supply performance in Brazil will be the three largest drivers of U.S. grain prices over the next few years.
• ·U.S. ethanol usage growth has slowed as legal, regulatory and infrastructure challenges limit the ability of E15 and E85 to help the industry overcome the 10 percent blend wall.
• ·Chinese corn demand remains a wildcard, with some concerns over the 2012/13 crop raising the potential for increased corn imports in the next year.
• Expanded global supplies, particularly from Brazil, are likely to limit the U.S.’ ability to achieve the 2009 export level of 1.9 billion bushels in the medium-term.
• U.S. cost of production for corn, ranging between USD 4.40 to USD 5.20 per bushel on average, creates structural support for corn prices in the medium to long-term.
• Given “normal” seasonal conditions in 2013 in both the U.S. and China, we expect corn prices to be pressured below breakeven (USD 5.00 per bushel) for higher cost operations in 2012/13.
• Tighter margins will change farmers’ strategies beyond 2012/13 toward cost efficiency, productivity growth and tighter financial management, and away from investment and business growth.
For more on Rabobank America, see http://www.raboag.com/.