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USDA Lowers Corn Stocks Estimate, Raises Outlook on Beans

Corn Stocks Seen at 2.437 Billion Bushels, Beans at 445 Million.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered its estimate of corn inventories while raising its projection for soybean carryout.

About 2.437 billion bushels of corn will be in storage at the end of the marketing year on August 31, the USDA said in a report today. That’s down from the November estimate of 2.487 billion bushels and analyst forecasts for 2.478 billion bushels.

The government raised its esimate on how much corn would be used to make ethanol by 50 million bushels, which was expected as production of the biofuel has been unusually strong, rising to records in two of the past three weeks. 

The forecast for corn exports was left unchanged at 1.925 billion bushels, but that could change in future reports due to weak sales since the start of the marketing year on September 1, said Brian Grossman, a market strategist at Zaner Group in Chicago.

Soybean inventories will total 445 million bushels at the end of the marketing year, according to the government, topping last month’s forecast for 425 million bushels. Analysts had expected carryout at 438 million bushels. 

The USDA lowered its outlook for soybean exports by 25 million bushels due to weak demand so far this year. Partially offsetting the decline in exports was a 5 million-bushel increase in the amount that will be used for seed. 

“I’ve been waiting for them to raise that seed estimate given how many more acres we’ll have,” Grossman told Successful Farming. “That export number, that’s a stair step. I, unfortunately, believe there’s more room to the downside given how far behind we are on making sales.”

Wheat inventories were seen at 960 million bushels, up from last month’s forecast of 935 million and analyst forecasts for 938 million. 

Global ending corn inventories were pegged at 204.08 million metric tons, up from 203.86 million projected last month and estimates for 202.7 million tons. World soybean carryout was seen by the USDA at 98.32 million tons, up from last month’s estimate for 97.9 million and forecasts for 97.8 million tons.

Global wheat stockpiles were projected by the agency at 268.42 million metric tons, up from last month’s 267.43 million tons and forecasts for 267.1 million tons.

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