The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in one of its largest data releases of the year, was likely to forecast smaller U.S. soybean exports, larger Brazilian soybean production, and decreased U.S. winter wheat plantings. Quarterly stocks were the highest on record and we continue to swim in old-crop supply. The increase was was partially offset by a 400,000 acre reduction in harvested area.
The increased corn production also caused USDA to boost its 2017/18 ending stocks view for the yellow grain.
USDA pegged the corn harvest at 14.604 billion bushels, up from its previous forecast of 14.578 billion. Yield was estimated at 53 bushels per acre, up one bushels from last month and up three bushels from a year ago.
Soybean production was estimated at 4,392 million bus, down 34 million bus from 4,425 million bus in November but up 96 million bus, or 2.2%, from 4,296 million bus in 2016. Corn yield for 2017 was put at 176.6 bushels per acre. That increase reflects more acres, which more than offsets a drop in average yield per acre. That's less than the 49.5 bushels per acre average estimated by industry analysts and the 49.5 bushels per acre projected a month ago by USDA.
Weekly U.S. soybean export sales of 607,400 tonnes and corn sales of 437,800 tonnes were both within analyst estimates.
USDA said soybean harvested acreage was 89.522 million and corn harvested acreage was 82.703 million. March soybeans added 10.5 cents, or 1.11 percent to settle at 9.605 dollars per bushel.
Dec 1 quarterly stocks were reported at 12.516 vs. 12.386 past year.
The government raised its estimate for USA corn production due to record-large yields and trimmed its estimate for the US soybean harvest, even as that crop remained the biggest ever.
For soybeans, it cut the USA export outlook by 65 million bushels amid rising demand for shipments from top competitor Brazil. Global corn stocks are at 206.6 million, up 2.5 million from last month. It raised its estimate of the Brazil crop to 110 million tonnes and the export outlook for that country to 67 million tonnes.