The grain trade finally received some new data from the United States Department Agriculture Friday after the U.S. government shutdown had delayed several key reports. Of note, the USDA lowered its estimates for U.S. corn production. For 2018-19, corn production is estimated at 14.42 billion bushels, down 206 million on a reduced yield estimate of 176.4 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were lowered by 46 million bushels to 1.735 billion.
The USDA reduced its soybean production estimate to 4.544 billion bushels, down 56 million. Yield is estimated at 51.6 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushels. Ending stocks are projected at 910 million bushels, down 45 million from the previous forecast.
Wheat ending stocks for 2018-19 were raised by 36 million bushels to 1.01 billion bushels. The USDA attributes the increased estimate to reduced feed and residual use and lower seed use.
The reports failed to significantly move the grain prices on Friday as the numbers fell within the range of the trade’s pre-report expectations.
Besides the World Agricultural Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report, the U.S. government also released the quarterly grain stocks report. Corn stored in all positions on December 1, 2018, totalled 12 billion bushels, down 5 per cent from the previous year. Of the total stocks, 7.45 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 4 per cent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 4.50 billion bushels, are down 7 per cent from a year ago.
Soybeans totalled 3.74 billion bushels, up 18 per cent. Stocks stored on farms totalled 1.94 billion bushels, up 30 per cent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 1.80 billion bushels, are up 7 per cent from last December.
All wheat stored totalled 2 billion bushels, up 7 per cent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 504 million bushels, up 28 per cent from last December. Off-farm stocks, at 1.50 billion bushels, are up 1 per cent from a year ago.
The government also released its projection for winter wheat planting in the U.S. The USDA estimated the total for 2019 at 31.3 million acres, down 4 per cent from 2018. The approximate class acreage breakdowns are Hard Red Winter, 22.2 million; Soft Red Winter, 5.66 million and White Winter, 3.44 million.