We missed the WASDE, among so many other reports, during the government shutdown. Today’s U.S. and world crop S&D update confirmed much of the speculation about the 2018/19 corn and soybean crops.
For corn, U.S. production was lowered 14 percent from the December forecast, to 14.4 billion bushels, due to lower yield and a slight reduction in harvested area. The reduction in supply was largely offset by lower use for feed and ethanol. Exports were left unchanged. The net effect on ending stocks was a 46 million bushel reduction, to 1.735 billion bushels.
Looking at world corn, USDA expects Argentine production to be around 46.0 MMT, up 3.5 MMT from the December estimate, and exports to be around 29.0 MMT, up 1.0 MMT; Brazilian corn production and exports were left unchanged at 94.5 MMT and 29.0 MMT, respectively. All in all, world corn ending stocks are expected to be just under 310 MMT, down 9 percent from 2017/18.
USDA lowered U.S. soybean yield and harvested acreage, resulting in 2018/19 production coming in at 4.5 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the December forecast and up 3 percent from last season. Changes in demand were a 10 million bushel increase in crush and a 25 million bushel reduction in exports, leading to ending stocks of 910 million bushels.
For world soybeans, USDA lowered Brazilian production by 5.0 MMT, to 117.0 MMT, due to crop stress from very dry weather, but Brazil is still expected to export over 79 MMT of soybeans in 2018/19. Argentina’s production number was lowered slightly. USDA also made some historical adjustments to Brazilian and Argentine soybean S&D numbers, with the result that Brazil’s ending stocks back to 1999/00 were raised and Argentina’s were lowered back to 2009/10. Argentina’s stocks were lowered significantly—2018/19 stocks are now pegged at 29.6 MMT as opposed to 41.3 MMT in December—and this change is the most significant factor in the decline in global ending stocks from 115.3 MMT in December to 106.7 MMT currently—but even the revised figure is a record volume.
World soybean ending stocks