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USDA data not as negative

11/08/2013 @ 11:35am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast for domestic corn and soybean production this year in its first supply-and-demand report since September.

U.S. growers will produce 13.989 billion bushels of corn this year on yields of 160.4 bushels per acre, the agency said Friday in its monthly crop report. That would be the highest production of corn on record, surpassing the 13.1 billion bushel harvest in 2009. November's figure was slightly below analysts' expectations of 14.022 billion bushels on yields of 159.43 bushels per acre, according to a Wall Street Journal survey.

The USDA's corn-production forecast was 1% higher than its previous estimate. The USDA forecast soybean production will total 3.258 billion bushels this year on yields of 43 bushels per acre. Analysts had expected 3.225 billion bushels from a yield of 42.5 bushels per acre. The agency's November soybean estimate was 3% higher from its previous forecast.

The U.S. is the world's largest exporter of corn and second-largest shipper of soybeans. Analysts are watching the crop-production report and the agency's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates closely because they are the first figures released since September. Last month's reports were canceled due to the 16-day partial government shutdown that started Oct. 1. "Wet weather across much of the corn belt affected harvest progress" in early October, the USDA said in its report. "However, by the third week of the month, the crop began to make headway."

Good weather allowed producers to harvest 73% of the crop by Nov. 3, two percentage points ahead of the five-year average, the USDA said.

The agency also raised its estimates for the amount of corn, soybeans and wheat stockpiles at the end of the 2013/2014 marketing year.

Corn stocks are expected to total 1.887 billion bushels, the USDA said. That was lower than analyst expectations of 2.056 billion bushels but slightly higher than the agency's September forecast. Harvested acres of soybeans are expected to total 170 million bushels, the USDA said, compared with analysts' estimates of 183 million bushels.

Wheat stockpiles at the end of the marketing year will be 565 million bushels, the USDA said, compared with 527 million the analysts predicted. Meanwhile, the USDA said it expects global corn stockpiles to rise to 164.33 million metric tons, up from 151.42 million it forecast in September. Analysts expected 154.8 million metric tons.

The USDA projects global soybean stocks will total 70.23 million metric tons, lower than its September estimate and below analysts' forecast of 72.7 million.

And global wheat stocks are expected to total 178.48 million metric tons, higher than the USDA's previous forecast and analyst expectations of 175.5 million.

--Tony C. Dreibus contributed to this article.
Write to Sarah Portlock at sarah.portlock@wsj.com
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November 08, 2013 12:12 ET (17:12 GMT)
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mark guildenzoph 11/08/2013 @ 6:02pm How does it feel now? Whoops blew the estimates again just another report in the book. Not to worry only got back what you all took off over the last week imagine if we got back what was taken off from the last year then we would be caught back up to reality.

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