The coronavirus pandemic has impacted both demand and supply chains, including the animal feed sector for a variety of commodities. U.S. corn-based ethanol production has also faced an unprecedented drop in demand as social distancing limited gasoline consumption.
Against this backdrop, the global production of feed grains, which includes corn, sorghum, barley, and oats, is projected to reach a new record of 1.48 billion tons in marketing year 2020/21, up more than 5% from the previous year. The expected record-high U.S. corn crop provides about 80% of the growth in 2020-21 world feed grain production, but feed grain production outside the United States is also expected to increase to a record high. Although current low global corn prices might deter producers from expanding corn area planted, the depreciating currencies of many countries lift domestic prices and thereby expected profits, while policies and favorable weather within many countries also support production increases through area expansion.
With the largest share of the increase in production coming from the United States, additional growth is projected in Ukraine, Brazil and Mexico. Low corn prices are expected to continue into 2020-21, encouraging higher world-wide use for feed, ethanol and trade after a decline in the current year. This chart is drawn from the Economic Research Service Feed Outlook, published in May 2020.