Reflecting the impact of China’s import duties on U.S. soybeans, the United States Department of Agriculture chopped its estimate for exports by 250 million bushels to 2.040 billion in 2018-19. Market watchers paid close attention to the export number as the USDA released the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on July 12.
Also of note, U.S. soybean production for 2018/19 is projected at 4.310 billion bushels, up 30 million on an increased harvested area. Harvested area, forecast at 88.9 million acres, is up 0.7 million from last month. The soybean yield forecast is unchanged at 48.5 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were raised to 580 million bushels from the June estimate of 385 million. Despite the hefty increase, the soybean futures closed higher as market pundits said the prospects for higher ending stocks had already been absorbed in the market.
The USDA lowered corn ending stocks by 25 million bushels to 1.552 billion as usage is rising faster than the supply. The agency is forecasting corn production for 2018-19 at 14.23 billion, up 190 million bushels from last month’s projection. The estimate is based on increased planted and harvested areas from the June 29 Acreage Report. The national average corn yield is unchanged at 174 bushels per acre. Projected feed and residual use for 2018/19 is raised 75 million bushels, mostly reflecting a larger crop and a forecast reduction in the amount of corn used to produce ethanol. Exports are raised 125 million bushels, based on expectations of reduced competition from Argentina, Brazil, and Russia.
Ending stocks for 2018/19 are raised 39 million bushels this month but are 11 per cent below last year’s revised stocks. Projected U.S. 2018/19 wheat supplies are raised 74 million bushels on increased beginning stocks and higher production. Forecast 2018/19 U.S. wheat production is raised 54 million bushels to 1.88 billion. The NASS (National Agricultural Statistical Service) July Crop Production report provides survey-based production forecasts for all wheat classes for the first time in the 2018/19 crop year. The production forecasts for durum and other spring wheat are up from last year’s low level due to improved yields and higher spring wheat area. Winter wheat production is down slightly from the June forecast.