U.S. and world ending stocks for cotton are expected to shrink in 2009-10, according to USDA's first assessment of U.S. and world supply and demand for the new marketing year. USDA also expects higher U.S. rice production.

In its May 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, USDA projects U.S. cotton production at 13.25 million bales, a slight increase from 2008, based on planted area estimated in March, combined with historical average abandonment and yields.

USDA lowered projected domestic mill use by 50,000 bales. Exports were reduced 12 percent to 11 million bales. Ending stocks were projected at 5.6 million bales, or 39 percent of total use. The 2009-10 average price received by producers is projected to range from 48 to 60 cents per pound.

World cotton production is forecast at 106.5 million bales, 1.3 percent below last year. World consumption is projected at 113.5 million bales, a growth rate of just over 3 percent, reflecting a modest recovery in world economic growth and a replenishment of cotton and yarn inventories held by mills. World trade is expected to rise 15 percent, owing partly to increased imports by China. World ending stocks are projected to fall 7 percent.

U.S. rice production is projected at 224 million hundredweight, 10 percent above 2008-09. U.S. planted area in 2009 is estimated at 3.18 million acres, up 6 percent from 2008. Harvested area is estimated at 3.16 million acres. Average rice yield is projected at 7,082 pounds per acre, up 3 percent from the previous year, but down 2 percent from the 2007-08 record. Imports for 2009-10 are projected at 21 million hundredweight, up nearly 17 percent from the previous year.

Exports are projected at 97 million hundredweight. Competition for export markets will be keen as competitor supplies are expected to be large.

The all rice season-average price for 2009-10 is forecast at $10.50 to $11.50 per hundredweight compared to $15.75 to $16.25 for 2008-09. The long-grain price is projected at $9.50 to $10.50 per hundredweight compared to $14.60 to $15.10 for the previous year. The combined medium- and short-grain price is projected at $15.50 to $16.50 per hundredweight, compared to $20.90 to $21.40.

Large domestic and global supplies and lower international prices will pressure U.S. prices, according to USDA. Global 2009-10 rice production is projected at a record 448.1 million tons, up 4.5 million from the previous year. World consumption is projected at a record 443.2 million tons, up 8.7 million tons.

U.S. corn production for 2009-10 is projected at 12.1 billion bushels, down 11 million bushels from 2008-09 as lower plantings more than offset higher expected yields. Yield is projected at 155.4 bushels per acre, 1.5 bushels below the 1990-2008 trend based on the slow pace of planting in the eastern Corn Belt.

USDA is projecting a 350-million bushel increase in ethanol use, at 4.1 billion bushels, reflecting the rising federal biofuels mandate and improved blending incentives. Corn exports are projected up 9 percent.

U.S. corn ending stocks for 2009-10 are projected down 28 percent to 1.1 billion bushels. The season-average farm price is projected at $3.70 to $4.50 per bushel.

World corn ending stocks are projected at 128.2 million tons, down 8 percent from 2008-09.

U.S. soybean production is projected at 3.2 billion bushels, up 236 million from 2008-09. Soybean oil used for biodiesel production is projected at 2.2 billion pounds, up 300 million from the 2008-09 estimate of 1.9 billion. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 230 million bushels, resulting in a relatively low stocks-to-use ratio at 7 percent.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2009-10 is projected at $8.45 to $10.45 per bushel compared with $9.85 in 2008-09.

Global soybean production is projected to increase 14 percent to 241.7 million tons. Argentina's crop is projected at 51 million tons, up 17 million from last year. Brazil's crop is projected at 60 million tons, up 3 million from 2008.

Total U.S. wheat production is projected at 2 billion bushels, down 19 percent from last year. The season- average farm price for all wheat is projected at $4.70 to $5.70 per bushel, well below the record $6.85 for 2008-09.

Global wheat production for 2009-10 is projected at 657.6 million tons, down 4 percent from last year's record, but still the second largest if realized. Global stocks are projected at 181.9 million tons, up 9 percent from 2008-09 and the highest in 8 years.

Cottonseed production is also projected higher, while peanuts, sunflowerseed, and canola production are projected down.