USDA’s forecasts in the May WASDE were neutral to bearish for both corn and soybeans, as the industry expected. Although, there were still some slightly surprising numbers that were especially bearish or less bullish than expected.
Starting with corn, 2020/21 production was forecast at a record-high 15.995 billion bushels thanks to yield of 178.5 bushels per acre (bpa) and 89.6 million harvested acres, both record highs, as well. The industry was expecting new-crop area to be 246 million acres lower and yield to be nearly 1 bpa lower.
New-crop corn ending stocks were also forecast by USDA to climb to a new record of about 3.318 billion bushels, up a staggering 58 percent from projected 2019/20 ending stocks of 2.098 billion bushels. The industry estimates for 2019/20 and 2020/21 ending stocks were higher than USDA’s forecast by 180 and 92 million bushels, respectively.
USDA increased its corn export forecast for the current market year (MY) to 1.775 billion bushels, up 50 million bushels from the April forecast.
For soybeans, 2020/21 production was forecast by USDA at 4.125 billion bushels, up 16 percent YOY and just below the industry estimate. New-crop yield of 49.8 bpa matched the industry estimate. Crushing for 2020/21 was pegged at a record-high 2.130 billion bushels. New-crop soybean ending stocks are expected to fall 30 percent YOY to 405 million bushels, 27 million bushels below the industry average forecast.
Soybean ending stocks for the current MY are expected to rise to 580 million bushels, up 100 million bushels from the forecast in April. This change is due to 2019/20 exports being lowered by 100 million bushels to 1.675 million bushels.