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Soybeans, Grains Close Higher After WASDE Report

USDA unexpectedly lowered output estimates for production and yields.

Soybeans and corn closed higher Friday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture unexpectedly lowered its forecast for production in a report yesterday. Wheat also jumped. 

Bean output in the 2018-2019 marketing year that started on September 1 was pegged by the USDA at 4.69 million bushels in the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report. That’s down from 4.693 billion bushels forecast last month and well below expectations.

Yield is seen lower at 88.3 bushels an acre, down from the month-earlier projection of 88.9 bushels, the USDA said. The government’s ending stockpiles estimate was raised to 885 million bushels from 845 million, but that’s still below analyst estimates.

Corn production forecasts were also lowered by the USDA to 14.778 billion bushels from 14.827 billion a month ago. Yield is now seen at 180.7 bushels an acre, down from 181.3 bushels. The agency’s inventories estimate was raised to 1.813 billion bushels from 1.774 billion a month earlier, but that’s also still below expectations.

Soybeans for November delivery rose 7¼¢ to $8.65½ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soy meal futures fell 60¢ to $316.20 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.34¢ to 29.36¢ a pound.

Corn for December delivery gained 3¾¢ to $3.73 a bushel.

Wheat futures surged on Friday, partly because the USDA lowered its outlook for global crops. World production is now pegged at 730.9 million metric tons, down from the September outlook for 733 million. While U.S. output was forecast higher, Australian-crop estimates were lowered by 1.5 million tons to 18.5 million and Russia's fell by a million tons to 70 million. 

Global ending stocks were pegged at 260.2 million tons, down from 261.3 million a month earlier. 

Wheat for December delivery rose 8¼¢ to $5.16¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 8¼¢ to $5.16¼ a bushel.

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Thursday’s Market Report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday unexpectedly lowered its forecast for corn and soybean production in the 2018-2019 marketing year that started on September 1.

Corn output is now pegged at 14.778 billion bushels this year, down from 14.827 billion forecast a month ago. Yield projections also were lower at 180.7 bushels an acre, down from 181.3 bushels seen in September.

Analysts had expected an increase in production from14.851 billion to 14.859 billion bushels. Yield projections ranged from 181.3 to 181.8 bushels an acre. Harvested acres were left unchanged at 181.8 bushels an acre, the USDA said, as expected.

Stockpiles at the end of the marketing year on August 31 are now seen at 1.813 billion bushels, up from last month’s outlook for 1.774 billion, but still well below forecasts for 1.913 billion to 1.919 billion bushels.

Brian Grossman, a marketing strategist with Zaner Ag Hedge in Chicago, told agriculture.com that the decline in yield indicates ear counts are down, likely due to the extremely wet weather the past month.

“I’m not surprised they lowered the yield given the maturity of the crop,” he said. “I thought they’d follow through with their historical pattern and increase (production and yield), but the maturity was the wild card, and that’s what came back and bit us.”

December corn added 6¢ to $3.68¾ a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade after the report.

Soybean production is now pegged at 4.69 billion bushels, also surprisingly lower. Analysts had forecast output in a range from 4.722 billion to 4.733 billion bushels after September’s projection of 4.693 billion bushels. Yields are expected to be 53.1 bushels an acre, topping last month’s 52.8 bushel projection, but still below the 53.3 to 53.4 bushels an acre forecast by analysts.

Inventories at the end of the 2018-2019 marketing year are expected by the government to be about 885 million bushels, the USDA said, up from the September forecast of 845 million and within the range of forecasts from 860 million to 905 million.

“Soybeans have a heck of a weather story on their hands,” Grossman said. “The amount of crop damage we’re finding out there, the USDA is going to have to take note of that, but the market isn’t going to pay attention until USDA does.”

Soybeans for November delivery added 6½¢ to $8.58¾ a bushel after the report. Soymeal was up $1.30 to $317 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.09¢ to 29.02¢ a pound.

Wheat stockpiles, meanwhile, likely will come in at 956 million bushels at the end of the grain’s marketing year on May 31. That’s up from last month’s outlook for 935 million and analysts’ expectations for 950 million, the USDA said. 

Wheat for December delivery fell 3¼¢ to $5.07¼ a bushel, and Kansas City futures lost 3½¢ to $5.12¾ a bushel.

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