July 21, 2010

Nebraska corn exports remain steady

Since the 2000-01 marketing year, an average of 460 million bushels of corn have been exported out of Nebraska each year – with the bulk of that corn heading to markets in California.

Exports have held within a consistent range even though corn use in the state has increased due to an increase in ethanol production, especially beginning in 2005 (see the chart below).

Nebraska Corn Board data shows that corn for ethanol use in Nebraska increased from about 200 million bushels in 2003-04 to an estimated 645 million this year and projected 684 million next year. Despite that increase, exports in 2009-10 were right at the average.

Estimates for 2010-11 and 2011-12 show exports to be above average as ethanol production levels-off, but corn production expands due to higher yields.

The Board also estimated that more than 100 million bushels of corn demand was offset by distillers grains in each of the last two years. Distillers grains production has increased from 0.9 million tons in 2003-04 to 4.3 million tons in 2010-11.

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