News Story

USDA Reports Summary

By DTN Staff

This article was originally posted at 11:04 a.m. CST. It was updated at 11:26 a.m. CST

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OMAHA (DTN) -- Despite a challenging harvest season, USDA on Tuesday largely left corn and soybean production unchanged at 14.626 billion bushels of corn and soybeans at 4.6 billion bushels.

USDA released its monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports for December on Tuesday.

Yield projections for corn remain forecast at 178.9 bushels per acre, and soybean yield was pegged at 52.1 bushels per acre, also the same as last month.

Among the few market number changes in the report, USDA raised production estimates for Brazil's soybean crop to 122 million metric tons (4.48 billion bushels) and raised Argentina's soybean crop to 55.5 mmt (2.039 bb).

Tuesday's new U.S. ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn, soybeans and wheat, said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. World ending stocks estimates from USDA were neutral for corn and wheat, but bearish for soybeans, he said.

Check this page throughout the morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.

For DTN's exclusive audio comments on today's reports, visit: http://listen.aghost.net/…

You can also access the full reports here:

-- Crop Production: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

-- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE): http://www.usda.gov/…

CORN

USDA estimated 2018-19 corn ending stocks at 1.78 billion bushels, 45 million bushels higher than last month's estimate.

Production was left unchanged, as is typical in December reports. USDA reduced its expectations for imports by 5 million bushels (mb) and cut corn use for ethanol by 50 mb.

USDA tightened its range of average farm-gate prices by a nickel at each end of the range to $3.25 to $3.95.

USDA left Brazil and Argentina corn production forecasts unchanged at 94.5 mmt and 42.5 mmt, respectively.

Global ending stocks, estimated at 308.8 million metric tons, were 1.29 mmt higher than last month's 307.5 mmt estimate, due to higher production estimates in Ukraine and the European Union.

SOYBEANS

USDA held pat on soybean production, pegging it at 4.6 billion bushels even though farmers nationally faced harvest problems.

Harvested acres remained at 88.3 million with yield per acre projected at 52.1 bushels.

Ending stocks also remained unchanged at 955 million bushels based on a projected 1.9 billion-bushel export market for soybeans. The pre-report average had expected USDA to lower ending stocks to 938 million bushels based on export changed.

The average farm-gate price for soybeans was pegged at $8.60 a bushel, the same as last month, but USDA shifted the projected price range downward at the high end.

USDA did raise Brazil's soybean production 1.5 million metric tons to 122 million metric tons (4.482 billion bushels), reflecting higher yields in the Central-West region of the country where crops had benefited from favorable weather conditions.

USDA also raised Argentina's soybean production to 55.5 mmt (2.039 billion bushels).

Brazil's food and agricultural supply agency, CONAB, earlier Tuesday projected a soybean crop of 120.1 mmt (4.413 billion bushels).

WHEAT

U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2018-19 came in at 974 million bushels, 25 mb higher than last month. Without any changes to wheat production, USDA's ending stocks adjustments are due to a 25 mb reduction in exports.

The range of average farm-gate prices, from $5.05 to $5.25, was 15 cents higher on the low end and a nickel lower on the high end.

Globally, 2018-19 ending stocks were estimate at 268.10 million metric tons, up 1.39 mmt from last month. USDA sees a 0.8 mmt increase in Russian carry-in stocks and a larger Canadian crop more than offsetting a reduction in Australian production. Australia's crop forecast was trimmed by 50 mt to 17 mmt.

The WASDE report noted that Russia and other Black Sea suppliers are continuing to displace EU and U.S. exports, but expect those countries to be less competitive in the second half of the year.

COTTON

USDA raised U.S. cotton production 1% to 18.59 million bales and boosted yield per acre from 852 pounds to 860 pounds an acre. USDA attributed higher production mainly due to a 300,000-bale increase in Texas production. Cotton ending stocks were raised 100,000 bales to 4.4 million bales and USDA pegs the mid-price for cotton at 74 cents a pound, the same as November.

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Stay tuned to DTN on Tuesday for a complete report of the most important numbers as they become available after 11 a.m. CST. At noon CST, join DTN's post-report webinar where DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman will be explaining what the day's numbers mean for grain prices. Sign up for Tuesday's webinar at: https://dtn.webex.com/…

U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2018-2019
Dec Avg High Low Nov
Corn 1,781 1,744 2,058 1,585 1,736
Soybeans 955 938 1,033 802 955
Wheat 974 969 1,025 924 949
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (Million metric tons) 2018-2019
Dec Avg High Low Nov
Corn 308.8 308.4 312.0 304.2 307.5
Soybeans 115.3 113.2 114.4 112.0 112.1
Wheat 268.1 267.3 270.0 265.0 266.7

(AG)

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