WASHINGTON, April 9, 2015 – Strong Chinese demand is tightening sorghum supplies even as farmers plan to seed more of the crop this spring, the Agriculture Department says.

USDA’s monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates released Tuesday boosted its forecast of exports for the 2014-harvested sorghum crop by 350 million bushels, up 50 million bushels from the March projection. Some 212 million bushels from the 2013 crop were used for export.

USDA slashed its estimate of sorghum ending stocks by 9 million bushels to 18 million bushels. USDA estimates that farmers will receive an average of $4 a bushel for the 2014 sorghum crop, 10 cents higher than the March forecast and 30 cents more than the expected average price for corn.

Farmers are expected to plant 7.9 million acres of sorghum this spring, up from 7.1 million acres last year, according to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report released March 31. Texas farmers are expected to plant 3 million acres of sorghum this year alone, a 20 percent increase from last year.

The WASDE report raised its estimate for corn ending stocks by 50 million bushels to 1.83 billion bushels. USDA left the export forecast unchanged from last month at 1.8 billion bushels.  

[Do you find the information on Agri-Pulse helpful? See even more ag and rural policy news when you sign up for a four-week free trial Agri-Pulse subscription.]