Corn production in the U.S. is forecast at 13.661 billion bushels, down 118 million bushels from last month on a 1.4 bushel reduction in yield to 167 bushels per acre, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates for November, published last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.55 billion bushels, down less than 1 million on fractionally lower yields and unchanged harvested area.

Iowa corn and soybean yields were unchanged from the October forecast at 192 and 53 bushels per acre, respectively.

U.S. beef production is raised from the previous month on higher expected slaughter of both fed and non-fed cattle.

The pork production forecast is raised on both higher hog slaughter and slightly higher carcass weights. The broiler production forecast is raised as hatchery data points to larger supplies of birds available for slaughter in the fourth quarter.

ADM seeks corn with offer of free drying

Grain merchant Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) is waiving the fees it charges farmers to dry grain at two Iowa locations and one in Illinois as it seeks supplies to keep the plants running at optimum levels through a slow, wet harvest period, Reuters reported last week.

Plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton, along with Decatur, Illinois, started offering free drying of corn at 19% moisture or less.

The plants process corn into ethanol and produce ingredients used by food and beverage companies.

Combined, the three locations can produce an estimated 1.08 billion gallons of ethanol a year.

Siouxland Energy resumes ethanol production

Siouxland Energy Cooperative has resumed production at its ethanol plant west of Sioux Center, although in a limited capacity. Operations resumed on Oct. 25, but it will be a while before any ethanol is actually produced and shipped again, The Sioux Center News reported last week.

Siouxland Energy halted production Sept. 9, a temporary measure in response to biofuel blending exemptions granted to small oil refiners, which reduced the demand for ethanol.

Officials said a recent decision by the California Air Resources Board lowering Siouxland Energy’s carbon index score means additional revenue opportunties for the plant, which ships a significant amount of its ethanol to California.

China’s pork imports likely to surge next year

China’s pork imports will reach record levels of as much as 4.6 million metric tons next year, Dutch financial services firm Rabobank said last week, as China’s domestic output falls to a historical low following a devastating disease outbreak.

China’s pork imports are already set to surpass previous records this year, reaching between 3.1 million and 3.3 million metric tons including offal, the bank said in a report, up from 2.1 million metric tons last year.

World food prices rise

World food prices rose for the first time in five months in October, boosted by jumps in sugar and cereals, the United Nations reported last week.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index averaged 172.7 points in October, up 1.7% on the previous month and 6% year-on-year.