Market News & Headlines >> Corn, Soy Stocks Cushion Shrinks a Bit

Last week’s quarterly USDA Grain Stocks report indicated the corn and soybean markets don’t have quite as large an old-crop supply cushion as was previously believed, while showing wheat supplies are larger than expected. 

USDA’s June 1 corn stocks total of 4.447 billion bushels indicated stronger-than-expected March-May corn usage, while the June 1 soybean stocks total of 625 million bushels confirmed strong soybean demand and suggested USDA had overestimated 2014 production.

The June 1 corn stocks total was toward the low end of trade estimates that averaged 4.555 billion bushels, in a range from 4.419-4.700 billion bushels, according to a survey of 22 analysts by Reuters News Service. The stocks number implied total March-May corn disappearance of 3.311 billion bushels, up 4.6% from the previous year’s 3.165 billion and the highest in 5 years. This likely reflected increased feed usage by the livestock sector with the June 1 hog herd up 8.7% from a year earlier and poultry numbers also up substantially.

June 1 soybean stocks were also toward to the low end of trade expectations that averaged 670 million bushels in a range from 604-707 million. The stocks number implies total March-May soybean disappearance of 710 million bushels, up a hefty 16.8% from last year. With soybean usage tracked mostly accounted for through export and crush data, the only good explanation for the low stocks number is that USDA has been overstating last year's crop size.

June 1 wheat stocks of 753 million bushels were above trade expectations that averaged 718 million bushels in a range from 688-740 million. Total March-May wheat disappearance of about 388 million bushels was down 18.1% from a year earlier, in large part due to very slow quarterly exports.