Market News & Headlines >> USDA Crop Numbers Surprise Again
USDA befuddled the grain trade on Tuesday by raising its estimates for U.S. corn and soybean production with most analysts expecting production cuts for both crops.
USDA also raised projected U.S. corn ending stocks farther, but left its soybean carryout estimate unchanged with strong export demand offsetting larger production.
USDA pegged 2017 U.S. corn production at 14.184 million bushels, up a modest 31 million bushels from August, but toward the high end of trade estimates that averaged 14.003 billion bushels in a range from 13.754-14.295 billion, according to a survey of 32 analysts by Bloomberg News. USDA raised its U.S. corn yield forecast by 0.5 bushel per acre from August to 169.9 bushels.
Soybean production was pegged by USDA at 3.431 billion bushels, up 50 million from its August estimate and at the high end of trade expectations that averaged 4.322 billion bushels in a range from 4.179-4.435 billion. USDA raised its U.S. soybean yield forecast by 0.5 bushel per acre from August to 49.9 bushels.
USDA raised its forecast for 2017/18 U.S. corn ending stocks by 62 million bushels to 2.335 billion compared with trade estimates that averaged 2.125 billion bushels in a range from 1.898-2.447 billion. This year’s U.S. corn carryout is now expected to be only 35 million bushels smaller than last year’s.
However, the agency kept its forecast for 2017/18 U.S. soybean stocks at 475 million bushels, cutting the old-crop carry-in by 25 million bushels, due primarily to stronger old-crop exports and raising projected new-crop exports by 25 million bushels.
USDA’s U.S. supply/demand update contained no fresh news for the wheat market as it kept its forecast for 2017/18 U.S. wheat ending stocks at 933 million bushels.