USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board estimates smaller corn and soybean crops from last month and a slightly larger cotton crop.

WAOB’s Jan. 12 report on agricultural supply and demand also raised U.S. ending stocks for cotton, soybeans and rice, and lowered the same for corn.

Cotton

U.S. cotton production for 2006-07 is now estimated at 21.7 million bales, 2 percent above last month, due to higher production in Texas and the Southeast.

Domestic mill use was reduced 100,000 bales to 5 million bales.

Exports were lowered 300,000 bales to 15.7 million bales, due to the continued sluggish pace of export sales and shipments and a significant reduction in the import forecast for China.

If realized, the carryover projection of 7.1 million bales would be the largest since 2001-02.

World cotton production was raised 0.7 percent, as increases in Brazil, China, Pakistan, and the United States were partially offset by decreases for Turkey, Greece, Syria, and others.

World consumption was raised marginally, due mainly to an increase for India.

China’s imports were reduced 1.25 million bales from last month due to lagging purchases and an announcement that the government would defer issuance of additional import quotas until March or later.

Exports were reduced in the United States, Syria, and Greece.

Corn

U.S. corn production was estimated 210 million bushels lower, reflecting lower planted and harvested area and a 2.1-bushel-per-acre reduction in average yield. As a result, U.S. corn ending stocks for 2006-07 are projected at 752 million bushels, down 183 million bushels from last month.

Feed and residual use was projected 75 million bushels lower based on the smaller crop and higher prices.

Corn food and industrial use was lowered 5 million bushels, reflecting lower use by the sweetener industry during the September-November quarter.

Exports were raised 50 million bushels, based on the continued strength of export demand.

The projected price range is up 10 cents on each end of the range to $3 to $3.40 per bushel.

Soybeans

Soybean production is estimated at 3.188 billion bushels, down 16 million bushels from last month based on lower yields. Soybean yield is estimated at 42.7 bushels per acre, below last year’s record of 43 bushels per acre.

Soybean exports were reduced 25 million bushels to 1.12 billion bushels, reflecting weaker-than-expected shipments in November and December.

Soybean ending stocks are projected at a record 575 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from last month.

The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2006-07 is narrowed to $5.75 to $6.45 per bushel.

Global soybean production is projected at 226.9 million tons, up 100,000 tons from last month. Argentina’s soybean crop was increased 500,000 tons this month to a record 42.5 million tons. Good weather during the early part of the growing season has improved yield prospects.

Wheat

Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2006-07 were raised 34 million bushels due to changes in projected trade. Imports were raised 10 million bushels, while exports were lowered 25 million bushels reflecting the slow pace of shipments and sales as a result of strong U.S. prices.

The projected price range is unchanged at $4.15 to $4.45 per bushel.

Global 2006-07 wheat production is projected 2.2 million tons higher this month, due to larger crops in Russia and the European Union. Global consumption was raised 1.2 million tons reflecting increases in the EU, Russia, Ukraine, and India. Wheat imports were reduced for Iraq and Pakistan. Higher exports for Russia, Bulgaria, and Romania were more than offset by lower exports for Ukraine, the EU, India, and the United States.

With more production, global ending stocks for 2006-07 were raised 1.1 million tons.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com