The January WASDE report was slightly surprising in terms of corn with many expecting more bullish numbers. Instead, USDA raised 2019/20 corn yield to 168.0 bushels per acre (bpa), up 1 bpa from the December estimate. The industry was expecting yield to be 2 bpa lower, around 166.0 bpa.
With higher yield and harvested corn acreage falling only 300,000 acres, final production rose 31 million bushels to nearly 13.692 billion bushels.
For some time, many expected domestic corn feed use to rise because of increased U.S. meat production. This assumption was confirmed on Friday, as USDA increased feed by 250 million bushels to 5.525 billion bushels.
Slow 2019/20 exports led to an estimate of 1.775 billion bushels, 75 million bushels lower than the December figure. Necessary export pace is now roughly 40 million bushels per week, which is more than double the average pace so far this season. USDA may continue to adjust exports lower over the next several months.
Increased production, greater feed use, and fewer exports mean corn ending stocks for 2019/20 are now pegged at 1.892 billion bushels, 18 million bushels lower than the previous estimate.
Very moderate changes were made to soybean estimates, with yield rising 0.5 bpa to 47.4 bpa, and harvested acres decreasing just 600,000 acres. As a result, production rose just 8 million bushels to 3.558 billion bushels. Ending stocks for 2019/20 were left unchanged at 475 million bushels.
U.S. corn production & yield by season
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