“The pace of consumption clearly needs to decline, and that decline has been occurring. The National Oilseed Processor Association estimates the December 2010 crush by their members was 11.5 percent below that of December 2009. If the national crush was down 10 percent, the December 2010 crush was 17 million less than in December 2009,” Good said.

Based on weekly export inspection figures, U.S. soybean exports from Dec. 1, 2010, through Jan. 6, 2011 were 40 million bushels less than that of a year ago. The total of crush and exports since Dec. 1, 2011, was 57 million bushels, or nearly 14 percent, less than the total of a year ago, he said.

 “Soybean consumption has slowed much more than the approximately 4 percent needed to ration current supplies. Consumption for the rest of the year needs to be only 33 million less than that of a year ago,” he said.

For corn, the USDA now projects 2010-11 marketing year consumption at 13.43 billion bushels.  That is 364 million bushels, or 2.8 percent, more than consumed last year, Good said.

At the projected level of consumption, year-ending stocks will total only 745 million bushels, or 5.5 percent, of consumption. Stocks cannot be reduced much below that level and still maintain pipeline supplies, so total consumption cannot substantially exceed the current projection, he said.

“During the first quarter of the marketing year, corn consumption totaled 4.117 billion bushels.  That is 253 million bushels, or 6.5 percent, more than consumed in the same quarter a year earlier. Use during the remainder of the year will be limited to about 9.313 billion bushels, which is only 111 million bushels, or 1.2 percent, more than consumed during the same period last year,” he said.