Fundamentally Speaking

Global Corn Output Sees Largest Year to Year Decline in Over 30 Years

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

At a time when the world needs more, not less, feed production to provide for a hungry world, global corn production this year will fall 47.2 million metric tons (mmt) from what was produced in the 2021/22 season.

This is the third largest decline ever in quantity terms and the largest drop-off in 30 years, down 3.9% from the prior year which is the third largest percentage decline in at least 25 years.

Part of that is due to less harvested acreage, off 3.92 million hectares in the 2022/23 season from the year prior which is the biggest year to year drop in world corn harvested area since the 1997/98 season, with the loss of Ukrainian farmland to war one of the main reasons for this.

The other reason is rather poor yields for a number of the world's top producers, reflected in this graphic that shows the percent deviation from the 25-year trend for the top global producers and the world as a whole.

The European Union, seeing one of the worst corn crops ever as their estimate USDA yield which many consider too high at 6.53 metric tons per hectare, off 17.8% from the long-term trend and likely the worst negative deviation from trend ever, while U.S. yields are down 2.5% from trend, our worst performance since the 2012/13 season, along with Chinese yields off 0.8% and Ukraine's seen down 5.8%.

With USDA projecting Argentine and Brazilian yields below trend for the 2022/23 season, all key corn producers are seen having below trend yields and that appears to be unprecedented, and why the world corn yield pegged at 5.77 mt/ha, 3.3% below trend, would be the poorest result since the 2012/13 season.


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