Market News & Headlines >> USDA May Lower Corn Yield; 2019/20 Carryout

A big question going into Tuesday’s monthly USDA Supply/Demand report is whether USDA will adjust its U.S. corn and soybean yield projections downward to account for the potential negative impact of the slowest planting season in at least 40 years. 

History favors a downward adjustment to at least the U.S. corn yield. The last time USDA made an adjustment to its yield projections in the June Supply/Demand report was in 2013, when it lowered its expected U.S. corn yield to 156.6 bushels per acre from 158.0 due to a slow planting pace. In June of 2009, another slow planting year, USDA lowered its corn yield forecast by 2 bushels per acre. 

There is no expectation USDA will adjust its projected planted acreage from the March 1 planting intentions ahead of the release of its annual Crop Acreage survey, which is due out on June 28. 

Pre-report trade estimates of the U.S. corn yield average 171.1 bushels per acre, in a range from 162.5-176.0 bushels, compared with USDA’s May trend-line forecast of 176.0 bushels, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 22 analysts. Trade expectations for 2019 corn production average 14.040 billion bushels, 990 million below USDA’s May projection of 15.050 billion bushels, in a range from 12.988-14.859 billion. 

Pre-report expectations for the U.S. soybean yield average 49 bushels per acre in a range from 47.5-49.6 bushels compared with USDA’s May projection of 49.5 bushels. Trade estimates of 2019 U.S. soybean production average 4.118 billion bushels, 32 million below USDA’s May projection, in a range from 3.850-4.240 billion bushels. 

Trade expectations for the 2019/20 U.S. corn carryout average 1.772 billion bushels, 713 million bushels below USDA’s May forecast of 2.485 billion, in a wide range from 1.133-2.404 billion. USDA is expected to raise the old-crop corn carryout due primarily to slow U.S. export sales. Trade expectations for 2018/19 corn ending stocks average 2.149 billion bushels in a range from 2.035-2.356 billion compared with USDA’s May projection of 2.095 billion bushels. 

On average, the trade expects a 2019/20 U.S. soybean carryout of 990 million bushels, 20 million above USDA’s May forecast, with expectations ranging from 825 million-1.346 billion bushels. USDA is expected to raise its old-crop soybean carryout. Trade expectations for the 2018/19 U.S. soybean carryout average 1.012 billion bushels in a range from 920-1.079 billion compared with USDA’s May forecast of 995 million.