Market News & Headlines >> Acreage Shock Jolts Corn Market

USDA on Friday morning, in its annual Crop Acreage report, pegged U.S. corn planted acres at 91.7 million, down about 1.2% from the March intentions, but well above the average of trade expectations, and estimated soybean planted acres at just 80.0 million, down 5.4% from the March intentions and below trade estimates. 

Corn futures plunged sharply in reaction to USDA’s acreage estimate, which compared with pre-report trade estimates of planted corn acres that averaged 88.80 million in a range from 87.03-85.57 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 21 analysts. 

Soybean futures received only a moderate boost from USDA’s acreage estimate, which compared with pre-report estimates of planted soybean acres that averaged 84.68 million in a range from 82.60-86.50 million. 

The Crop Acreage report appeared to be neutral for wheat prices, with USDA pegging U.S. all wheat planted acres at 45.61 million, dead on the average of trade estimates, and down slightly from March planting intentions of 45.75 million acres. 

The Acreage report was also largely neutral for the cotton market as USDA pegged U.S. all-cotton planted acres at 13.72 million, marginally below the average of trade estimates and down slightly from March planting intentions of 13.78 million acres. 

A high degree of uncertainty remains about planted acreage due to the historic lateness of the planting season for spring crops and USDA announced shortly after releasing the acreage report that it will resurvey acreage for most Corn Belt states. 

The Crop Acreage report showed Illinois corn acres down only 200,000 or 1.8% from the March intentions, with Indiana acreage unchanged and Ohio acreage down 200,000 or 5.7% from March. These acreage numbers are very much in doubt, given that Illinois corn planting was just 45% complete as of June 2, with Indiana planting only 31% complete and Ohio planting just 33% complete.