WASHINGTON – For the month of December, world 2011/12 corn production is forecast up 8.5 million tons to a record 868 million tons, primarily due to a big increase in China’s production, states the Feed Outlook released Dec. 13 by US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Global ending stocks are up 6 million tons to 127 million, down 1 million from the year earlier.

Due to an increase in forecast oats imports from Canada, where supplies are plentiful, US feed grain supplies are increased slightly this month. Expected corn use is down 5 million bushels due to reduced prospects for use in sweeteners.

US feed grain supplies for 2011/12 are forecast at 357.6 million tons, compared with 380.5 million in 2010/11. Imports are forecast at 2.2 million tons, slightly higher than last month’s forecast. Production did not change this month.

On a September-August marketing year basis for 2011/12, US feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat is projected to total 126.5 million tons, up slightly this month due to increased sorghum feed and residual use. Corn is expected to account for 92 percent of feed and residual use, compared with 94 percent last year.

The projected index of grain-consuming animal units (GCAU) in 2011/12 is 93.3 million units, virtually unchanged from last month and slightly higher than last season’s 92.9 million. Feed and residual per GCAU is estimated at 1.37 tons, compared with 1.39 tons in 2010/11.

GCAUs are increased this month In the major index components for cattle on feed and lowered for broilers. Forecasts for US beef and turkey production are unchanged for December, but broiler production is forecast lower, primarily due to slower expected growth in average bird weights in the first part of 2012.

October placements in feedlots were 1 percent below a year earlier but 1 percent ahead of September placements, USDA’s November Cattle on Feed report indicated. On Nov. 1, cattle and calves on feed for slaughter in the US in feedlots with capacity of 1,000 or more head totaled 11.9 million head. The inventory was 4 percent above Nov. 1, 2010. This is the second-highest Nov. 1 inventory since the series began in 1996.

Higher feed demand is expected despite high feed prices, but lighter cattle weights may reduce some of the impact from the larger inventories. In December, pork production was forecast higher because slightly higher carcass weights are anticipated. In October, federal-inspected average dressed weight of hogs was up slightly from September and up from 2010. Pork production was increased slightly for 2011 and 2012. By mid-2012, higher feed costs are anticipated to moderate the increase in carcass weights.