Current expectations indicate an increase in global and U.S. sorghum production and U.S. exports during the 2023/24 marketing year. Projections indicate 62.18 million metric tons of production globally, surpassing last year’s production of 57.34 million tons. According to USDA forecasts, the United States is anticipated to contribute significantly to the growth in sorghum production as the country rebounds from last year’s drought.
USDA’s May 2023 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report projects a substantial increase in U.S. sorghum production for the 2023/24 growing season, estimating a 91.5% increase from the previous year, which moves production from 188 to 360 million bushels (Table 1).
Table 1: U.S. Grain Sorghum Supply and Demand
The U.S. is currently projected to regain its position as the leading global sorghum producer and exporter. Projections indicate that the U.S. will export approximately 6.00 million metric tons of the 9.75 million metric tons exported globally.
While domestic consumption is projected to remain the same as last year, export projections suggest an increase in sorghum exports (Figure 1). The U.S. 2023/24 marketing year exports are expected to reach 235 million bushels, a substantial increase to the 90 million bushels exported last year. According to USDA data, China will continue to be a significant importer of U.S. sorghum. Chinese demand is driven largely by the country’s livestock industry and has made up the largest share of U.S. grain sorghum exports since 2013/14, with the exception of 2018/19.
Figure 1. US Grain Sorghum Exports
Ending stocks are also expected to increase from 25 to 30 million bushels, a 20% increase from the previous year. The average farm price of sorghum is projected to mirror the corn price in the upcoming 2023/24 marketing year, with current estimates indicating an average price of $4.80/bu, a sharp decline from the $6.90/bu estimated for 2022/23 (Table 1). Although a lower price is expected compared to the last three marketing seasons, prices are expected to be above pre-pandemic values. The last season with prices lower than the expected 2023/24 price was in 2019/20, when the average price was $3.34/bu.
In summary, the 2023/24 season presents opportunities for sorghum production and exports, with the U.S. expected to regain its position as the top global producer and exporter. However, this comes at lower expected prices.
Abello, Francisco Pancho, and Samuel Zapata. “Sorghum Exports and Production Expectations for the 2023/24 Season.” Southern Ag Today 3(22.1). May 29, 2023. Permalink