Market News & Headlines >> Corn, Soybean Stocks Seen Near USDA Carryout Estimates

Wednesday morning’s quarterly USDA Grain Stocks report is not expected to hold any big surprises for the corn and soybean markets, but the report does have a history of surprising the grain trade.

Trade estimates of Sept. 1 U.S. corn stocks average 2.250 billion bushels, just 3 million below USDA’s current estimate of 2019-20 ending stocks, in a range from 2.120-2.574 billion bushels, according to a Reuters News Service survey of 25 analysts. 

As always, uncertainty about U.S. corn stocks is centered primarily on feed/residual use, which is difficult to measure. That is probably more true than ever this year due to coronavirus-related disruptions to hog and cattle slaughter operations this spring that backed up livestock in the marketing pipeline and stressed producers financially. 

Pre-report expectations for Sept. 1 soybean stocks average 576 million bushels, only 1 million bushels above USDA’s current 2020-21 U.S. carryout estimate, in a range from 490-608 million bushels. 

USDA carried a negative residual use number on the soybean balance sheet in its September Supply/Demand report, which suggests that it is likely to revise its estimate of 2019 soybean production upward in tomorrow’s report.  In a change made this year, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service could also revised its 2019 corn production estimate in the Stocks report, if necessary. 

On average, USDA is expected to peg Sept. 1 U.S. wheat stocks 4.4% below a year earlier due to smaller U.S. production and larger June-August exports. Trade estimates of Sept. 1 wheat stocks average 2.242 billion bushels in a range from 2.150-2.380 billion bushels compared with Sept. 1, 2019 stocks of 2.346 billion bushels.