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USDA data seen as mainly bearish

Agriculture.com Staff 09/11/2009 @ 6:40am

CHICAGO, Illinois (Agriculture Online)--The USDA Friday released mainly unfriendly U.S. crop production numbers in its monthly supply/demand report.

USDA estimated the U.S. 2009 corn production at 12.955 billion bushels, above the average trade estimate at 12.932 billion bushels. The USDA sees the U.S. corn yield at 161.9 bushels per acre), above the average analyst estimate of 161.5 bushels per acre, and above the USDA previous estimate of 159.5.

For soybeans, the USDA estimates the U.S. 2009 crop at 3.245 billion bushels, slightly below the average trade estimate of 3.256 billion bushels, but seen as a bearish number to the market. USDA, in its monthly report, estimated the U.S. soybean yield at 42.3 bushels per acre, below the average analyst estimate of 42.4 bushels per acre, but above its previous estimate of 41.7.

USDA sees the U.S. corn ending stocks for the 2008-09 crop year at 1.695 billion bushels, below the average trade estimate of 1.712 billion bushels. For soybeans, the USDA 2008-09 ending stocks estimate is 110 million bushels, above the average trade estimate of 102 million bushels.

For new crop ending stocks (2009-10), the USDA estimated corn supply at 1.635 billion bushels, below the average trade estimate of 1.768 billion bushels. For soybeans, USDA sees new crop ending stocks at 220 million bushels, below the average analyst estimate of 226 million bushels. Also, the USDA pegged the U.S. new crop wheat ending stocks at 743 million bushels, below the average trade guess of 769 million bushels.

Jim Bower, Bower Trading, says the report offered a few market-friendly numbers. "From a producer's standpoint, the new-crop corn ending stock estimate is the most friendly number in this report. The USDA came out with a figure that was 133 million bushels below what the trade estimated."

All-Wheat production is estimated at 2.184 billion bushels, left unchanged compared to the USDA's previous estimate.

Jason Ward, Northstar Commodities Inc., says that overall the yield estimates were in-line with the trade.

"I would say the trade estimated it pretty well with not too many surprises. The bottom line is this: We aren't really any smarter until the combines roll. I have heard a lot of customers this week disappointed with their beans. Lots of disease talk and a lot of 2 beans in a pod rather than 3, but as every agronomist tells me, beans are the hardest yield to forecast. I'm just reporting what I hear from customers."

Ward adds, "Calls are either side of unchanged, my guess is any bounce won't have much for legs but no one will want to sell to hard with the US Dollar declining rapidly this week and breaking key support of 77%."

Other notables from the USDA report include: Chinese corn crop was lowered slightly 2.5 MMT due to summer drought. Plus, global corn stocks declined 2.5 MMT, beans up nominally, wheat up 3 MMT.

Separately, USDA Export sales today were solid with 40 million corn, 30 million beans, and 20 million wheat.

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