U.S. corn, soybean production estimates unchanged; wheat rises

USDA’s monthly world ag supply and demand estimates report released June 11 wasn’t much of a market-mover.

That’s because the Ag Department left its corn and soybean production estimates unchanged as farmers continue to plant the rest of the crops.

“All eyes were on corn and soybeans going into this, but there were very few changes,” said Karl Setzer, AgriVisor commodity risk analyst. “At the end of the day, when you look at the market, what we know coming out of the report is what we knew going into the report.”

USDA’s 2020 production estimates remain the same as last month – 15.99 billion bushels of corn with a national average yield of 178.5 bushels per acre and 4.12 billion bushels of soybeans with an average yield of 49.8 bushels.

Season average price estimates also remain unchanged at $3.20 per bushel for corn and $8.20 for beans.

What about all the recent issues with excess moisture that drowned out a number of acres and led to significant replanting in some areas?

“In the growing season, we’re focused on weather. When we’ve got a crop still being planted, it’s tough to say if yield (estimates) should go up or down,” Setzer said. “What we do now is take these numbers and start looking forward three weeks until we get the June acreage and stocks reports.”

USDA releases those highly anticipated reports June 30.

In the meantime, USDA trimmed 2019 crop production by 45 million bushels of corn and 5 million bushels of beans, reflecting resurveys the National Agricultural Statistics Service conducted in the Upper Midwest to reflect severe harvest delays for last year’s crops.

USDA also lowered old-crop soybean exports by 25 million bushels due to competition from South America, which was mostly offset by a 15 million bushel increase in crush, while lowering its estimate of corn used for ethanol by 50 million bushels.

Ending stocks edged up to 3.32 billion bushels of corn and slipped to 395 million bushels of beans.

Exports for 2020/21 remain unchanged from last month but higher than last year at 2.15 billion bushels of corn and 2.05 billion bushels of beans.

“One positive I saw is USDA remains pretty confident we’ll have solid exports,” Setzer said. “We have strong competition, but we didn’t see any reductions (in the estimates).”

That wasn’t the case for wheat as USDA trimmed old-crop exports by 5 million bushels. It also raised its estimate of winter wheat production by 11 million bushels to 1.26 billion bushels.

The combination of fewer sales and increased output raised ending stocks of wheat by 16 million bushels to 925 million bushels, which still represents a six-year low. The season average wheat price estimate was unchanged at $4.60 per bushel.

In Illinois, USDA pegs wheat production at 38.7 million bushels this year (up 5%), with an average yield of 73 bushels per acre (up 6 bushels from 2019).