Today was a huge surprise with corn and soybean yields higher, not lower. The market is not taking out post report lows in the minutes following the noon release. It could indicate end users are stepping in to cover needs.
USDA put the U.S. corn production at 14.184 billion bushels with a yield of 169.9 bushels per acre. Ending stocks were pegged at 2.335 billion bushels. Last month corn ending stocks were 2.27 billion bushels. USDA put the U.S. soybean production at 4.43 billion bushels with a yield of 49.9 bushels per acre. Soybean ending stocks were estimated at 475 million bushels. Last month soybean ending stocks were 475 million bushels. Ending soybean stocks were unchanged due to higher crush and higher exports.
As the noon hour approached, corn was down 5 cents, soybeans were down 2 cents, with wheat unchanged. Shortly after the report, corn was down 8 cents, soybeans were 13 cents, with wheat down 3 cents
Going into the USDA report today, the average trade estimate for corn production was 14.03 billion bushels with a yield of 168.2 while ending stocks were estimated at 2.17 billion bushels. Last month USDA in a bearish report had U.S. corn production at 14.15 billion bushels and a yield of 169.5 bushels per acre. The average trade estimate for soybean production this month was 4.32 billion bushels and a yield of 48.8. Soybean production in August was 4.38 billion bushels and a yield of 49.4.
World ending stocks of wheat did decrease in spite of increased production in Russia. Russia has been in the headlines in recent days due to reports of reducing rail rates to move grain from the interior to export locations. There is uncertainty if the rate reductions are for just wheat or all grains.
World ending stocks of corn and soybeans did increase. World ending stocks of wheat were down ever so slightly.
Both corn and soybeans had double digit losses with the Aug. 10 report. Corn was down 15 cents while soybeans were down 33 cents on report day. For the September report, if you expected USDA corn yields to be reduced at least 2 bushels per acre and the soybean yield at least 1 bushel per acre, you are likely going to be disappointed with the report today. The October report will have lots of actual harvest data to help determine corn and soybean yields. This report will not have the luxury of very much harvest data to determine production and yields.
While it is not a headline banner that grabs attention from all or even many, watch corn used for ethanol with old crop corn to increase from the August report. Last month USDA put corn used for ethanol at 5.45 billion bushels. The weekly ethanol report for much of July and August had extremely strong corn usage. Any increased usage will decrease old corn ending stocks and flow into the new crop table with a smaller beginning stocks number. In recent months USDA has now included sorghum used for ethanol in this weekly report. From September 2016 to July 2017 roughly 107 million bushels of sorghum was used in ethanol production.
Ohio should see several days of rain this week as the leftovers from Hurricane Irma pass through. For the dry areas of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, it will be too little too late for many producers to do any good for soybeans or corn. December CBOT corn has traded in a range of $3.52-$3.62 this month. November CBOT soybeans had a range in September before the USDA report today of $9.52-$9.77. Look for the report today to break corn and soybeans out of that tight trading range.
Corn ratings with last night’s weekly crop progress report were unchanged at 61% good and excellent. Nine states, including Ohio, saw improvement while six states had corn rating declines. The U.S. soybean crop was rated at 60% good and excellent, compared to 61% last week. Ohio was unchanged at 56% good and excellent.
Weather in South America is currently the tale of two extremes. Brazil is too dry while Argentina is to wet. The dry weather in Brazil will likely only improve the chances of seeing more winter corn planted there next May-June as producers skip the opportunity to plant corn early in the growing season.
Actual combine reports in coming days and weeks will be the order of the day now that the monthly USDA report is behind us. Producers and traders alike will be most anxious to see harvest reports as many continue to think USDA was too high on their corn and soybean yield estimates detailed in August.
Higher corn and soybean yields will leave many scratching their heads today.