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Will USDA Print Bigger Crop Estimates?

A government report Tuesday is expected to yield few surprises as the U.S. Department of Agriculture likely won’t change its outlook for corn and soybean production and yield.

Corn production is pegged by analysts at 13.564 billion bushels, up from last month’s outlook for 13.555 billion, according to a survey by Bloomberg. Yield is forecast at 168.2 bushels an acre, just north of USDA’s October estimate of 168 bushels.

Soybean output is seen by analysts at 3.914 billion bushels on yields of 47.5 bushels an acre, up from October’s production outlook for 3.888 billion bushels and yield estimate of 47.2 bushels, the Bloomberg survey said.

“Historically we don’t get a lot of movement in November,” said Chad Henderson, an analyst at Prime Ag in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Corn stockpiles at the end of the 2015-16 marketing year were pegged at 1.597 billion bushels, up 2.3% from the October estimate. Soybean inventories are expected to come in at about 435 million bushels, up 10 million bushels month-over-month.

Slack demand for U.S. supplies thanks to a strong dollar and monster crops in competing countries likely will lead to higher ending stocks for corn and beans, the analysts said.

Commitments to buy U.S. corn since the start of the marketing year through October 29 were down 32% from the same time frame last year, according to the USDA. 

Assurances to purchase soybeans were down 22%, and agreements to buy wheat declined by 17%, government data show.  

The government will, at some point, have to raise its stockpile projections as promises to purchase U.S. grain and oilseeds trail last year’s pace by a significant margin, Henderson said.

 

“Sales are so far behind last year – something’s got to give,” he said. “Either the exports need to pick up, or the USDA is going to have to lower its forecasts for demand.”

2015-16 U.S. Corn and Bean Production (billion bushels)

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2015-16
Nov.
2015-16
Average
Range2015-16
Oct.
CORN 13.55613.3-13.713.555Yield 168.0164.2-169.6168.0Acres 80.780.5-81.480.7BEANS 3.9123.8-4.03.888Yield 47.546.2-48.047.2Acres 82.482.2-83.282.4

 

2015-16 U.S. Carryout (billion bushels)

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2015-16
Nov.
2015-16
Average
Range2015-16
Oct.
CORN 1.5871.314-1.7021.561BEANS 0.4290.353-0.4760.425WHEAT 0.8660.761-0.9140.861

 

 

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