2015/2016 Sorghum Harvest and Export Quality Report

C. Outlook

1. U.S. Outlook

  • With the most harvested hectares in more than a decade and the highest average yield on record, the 2015 U.S. sorghum crop is projected to be more than 37% larger than the previous year’s crop. Due to slightly lower exports projected in MY15/16 relative to MY14/15, the domestic use of sorghum in MY15/16 is projected to be higher than any of the previous five completed marketing years.
  • Sorghum use for food, seed and industrial (FSI) purposes is expected to rebound in MY15/16 compared to MY14/15, largely due to sorghum’s increased expected use in ethanol production.
  • Domestic sorghum use for feed and residual use is also expected to increase in MY15/16 compared to MY14/15. Feed demand for sorghum is expected to be supported by its price relative to corn and the practice of feeding livestock longer.
  • U.S. sorghum exports during MY15/16 are projected to be about 7.9% lower than last year. If realized, this would result in the second highest level of exports since 1980.
  • MY15/16 sorghum ending stocks are projected to be more than three times as high as the previous marketing year, primarily due to the large sorghum crop and slightly less export demand.

2. International Outlook

Global Supply

  • Global sorghum production during MY15/16 is expected to be slightly higher than last year’s production. This is due to larger crops in both the United States and Mexico, which are the top two sorghum-producing countries in the world.
  • In addition to slightly lower U.S. exports, total non-U.S. exports are expected to be lower in MY15/16 than in MY14/15.
  • Decreased exports are also expected from Australia, which is a key non-U.S. exporting country along with Argentina.

Global Demand

  • Global sorghum use is expected to increase slightly in MY15/16 from MY14/15.
  • The top three sorghum-consuming countries over the past two marketing years are China, Mexico, and Nigeria. In addition to slightly higher U.S. use, sorghum use is anticipated to be higher in MY15/16 in Mexico and Australia, and lower in China and Nigeria compared to MY14/15.
  • Year-over-year imports are expected to decrease globally in MY15/16, with China responsible for the vast majority of the change.