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USDA Releases No Bombshell Numbers for Corn, Soybean Markets

Acreage estimates come in as expected.

DES MOINES, Iowa — U.S. farmers planted about what the trade had expected, regarding corn and soybean acreage in 2018, according to the USDA.

At the close, the Sep. corn futures finished 5 1/4¢ higher at $3.59 1/2. Dec. futures ended 5 1/4¢ higher at $3.71 1/4.

Aug. soybean futures settled 3 1/4¢ lower at $8.63 1/2.  Nov. soybean futures closed 3 1/2¢ lower at $8.80.

Sep. wheat futures closed 17 3/4¢ higher at $5.01 1/4.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.80 higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials closed 55 points higher.

In its report, the USDA pegged the U.S. 2018 corn acreage at 89.1 million vs. the average trade estimate at 88.56 million and the USDA's March estimate of 88.02.

For soybeans, the USDA estimated the U.S. farmers planted 89.6 million acres vs. the average trade estimate of 89.69 million and the government's March estimate of 88.98 million.

U.S. 2018 Acreage in millions of acres

  Corn Soybeans All Wheat
USDA June 89.1 89.6 47.8
USDA March 88.02 88.98 47.34
Avg. Trade 88.56 89.69 47.12

June 1 Grain Stocks

In its report, the USDA pegged the U.S. June 1 corn stocks at  5.306 billion bushels vs. the average trade estimate of 5.27 billion bushels and last year's stocks at this same time of 5.22 billion.

For soybeans, June 1 stocks were pegged at  1.22 billion bushels, compared with 1.2 billion and last year's 966 million bushels.

The USDA estimated 2018 June 1 wheat stocks at 1.11 billion bushels vs. the average trade estimate of 1.09 billion and last year's June 1 total at 1.18 billion.

The CME Group's farm markets trade higher, following the release of the USDA report.

At mid-session, the Sep. corn futures are 4¢ higher at $3.58. Dec. futures are 4¢ higher at $3.70.

Aug. soybean futures are 12 1/4¢ at $8.79.  Nov. soybean futures are 12 1/2¢ higher at $8.96.

Sep. wheat futures are 21 1/2¢ higher at $5.05.

In the outside markets, the NYMEX crude oil market is $0.54 higher, the U.S. dollar is lower, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 251 points higher.

Trade Reactions

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group’s senior market analyst, says that the reaction was far more interesting than the actual report. 

“The stocks report perhaps a little negative to corn, neutral to beans and wheat.  The planted area report was negative to corn for sure.  Kind of friendly to beans, but negative to wheat,” Scoville says. 

Scoville adds, “Yet, the markets are up and that implies that the bad news is in for a while.  Pretty interesting around here!  I had been talking maye a slight reduction in corn acres, that sure didn’t happen  It will be a very interesting close.”
Mike North, president Commodity Risk Management Group, says that the stocks report provided very little by way of surprises.  

“All in all, stocks were in line with expectations,” North says.

North adds, “Acreage numbers were the largest variable.  The USDA estimated that farmers would plant 88 million acres of corn in the March Planting Intentions report.  In 5 of the last 7 years, the USDA has raised corn acres in June.  Analysts wagered on that historical probability by tendering an average guess of 88.4 million,” North says.

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