WASHINGTON (B)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's July estimates of U.S. corn production for 1999-00 have risen dramatically to 254.3 million tonnes--a record 10.01 billion bushels--from June figures of 247.4 million tonnes (9.7 billion bushels), according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released July 12.

Estimates of U.S. corn ending stocks for 1999-00 also rose, to 55.4 million tonnes--2.18 billion bushels--from June projections of 47.23 million tonnes (1.86 billion bushels), according to the report.

However, overall world corn production is now estimated at 610 million tonnes in 1999-00, down from the 614.7 million projection in June. China's corn production for this crop

year is expected to be 122 million tonnes, down from June estimates of 125 million, according to USDA.

World ending stocks are expected to rise only slightly despite the huge increase in U.S. carry-overs, as other major corn producers and importers reduce carry-over stocks. The greatest decrease in carry-overs is projected in China, with July estimates for 1999-00 falling to 32.25 million tonnes from the 36.17 million projected last month.

Because of lower overall world production and reduced carry-over stocks, USDA's latest estimates of US corn exports for 1999-00 are up to 52.07 million tonnes from June's 50.17 million.

China is expected to export 5 million tonnes in 1999-00, down from the 6 million projected in June, according to the report.

However, USDA import estimates for significant corn buying nations do not show any significant increases, and even show EU corn purchases for 1999-00 falling to 10.58 million tonnes from June estimates of 11.11 million.

USDA estimates that U.S. corn prices will average $1.50 to $1.90 per bushel in 1999-00, down from June estimates of $1.65-$2.05.

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