A series of reports by the United States Department of Agriculture on Thursday proved to be bullish for soybeans.
The March contract closed approximately 30 cents higher in Chicago while the November contract gained more than 18 cents.
Of note, the USDA trimmed its estimates for U.S. soybean production and ending stocks. The agency now estimates soybean production in 2016 at a record 4.31 billion bushels, down 1% from the November forecast but up 10% from 2015.
The average yield per acre is estimated at a record high 52.1 bushels, 0.4 bushel below the November forecast but 4.1 bushels above the previous record yield in 2015.
The USDA also lowered its estimate for 2016-17 U.S. ending stocks to 420 million bushels from 480 million last month.
Second lowest U.S. winter wheat acreage
The USDA estimates the winter wheat acreage for harvest in 2017 at 32.4 million acres, down 10% from 2016 and 18% below 2015. It marks the second lowest United States acreage on record.
Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat seeded area is expected to total 23.3 million acres, down 12% from 2016. Planted acreage is down from last year across most of the growing region. The largest declines in planted acreage are estimated in the Great Plains.
Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat seeded area totals 5.68 million acres, down 6% from last year. Acreage decreases from last year are estimated in most of the SRW growing States, while increases are expected in the Carolinas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, and Maryland.
White Winter wheat seeded area totals 3.37 million acres, down 4% from 2016.
Corn production estimate trimmed
The USDA pegged 2016 U.S. corn production at 15. 1 billion bushels, down 1% from the November forecast but up 11% from the 2015 estimate. The average yield in the United States is estimated at 174.6 bushels per acre.
The USDA notes that this is down 0.7 bushel from the November forecast but 6.2 bushels above the 2015 average yield of 168.4 bushels per acre.
The estimate for U.S. ending stocks for 2016-17 was lowered by 48 million bushels from last month to 2.355 billion bushels.