USDA report sets stage for “short crop, long tail”

By Doug Tenney, Leist Mercantile 

USDA this morning estimated the 2012 U.S. corn yield at 146 bushels per acre. Many would call this a surprise when you look at the average trade estimate was 154. The range was 147 to 162. Last month the corn yield was estimated at 166 bushels per acre. Minutes before the report was released December corn was trading at $7.28, up 9.5 cents. At 8:45 am December corn was trading at $7.44, up 25.5 cents.

Ohio corn has endured wind, drought, scorching heat and hail this year and yields are suffering.


The U.S. soybean yield was estimated at 40.5 bushels per acre. The average trade estimate was 42.3 bushels per acre. The range was 41.3-43.9. The estimate last month was 43.9 bushels per acre. At 8:45 November soybeans were $15.70 up 31.5 cents. Just prior to the report soybeans were $15.54.

Weeks prior to this report many traders had a target of $7.40 for December corn. Today in early trading December corn had reached $7.48. No doubt some would suggest this yield number opens the way for December corn to test its all time high of $7.99 on June 27, 2008. Corn ending stocks were reduced to 1.183 billion bushels, down from last months 1.881 billion bushels.

The fireworks of extremely volatile prices for corn and soybeans should continue. Producers need to be aware of, “short crop, long tail.” We certainly have a reduced corn crop for 2012.

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