USDA makes surprise cuts to U.S. corn, soybean harvest outlooks
(Adds details of U.S. Agriculture Department forecast,
analysts' comments, updates market reaction)
By Mark Weinraub
CHICAGO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department
surprisingly trimmed its forecasts for both domestic corn and
soybean production on Thursday, with the soy cut stemming from a
reduction in acres while the corn harvest will be lower due to
Soybean production was seen falling from the government's
September estimate due to a decrease in harvested acres in key
states such as Illinois and Minnesota.
Despite the cuts, the U.S. soybean crop was still projected
as the biggest ever, while corn harvest was pegged as the
second-biggest on record.
The corn crop was seen at 14.778 billion bushels, based on
an average record yield of 180.7 bushels per acre, the
government said in its monthly supply and demand report. Soybean
production was pegged at 4.690 billion bushels, with yields
averaging a record 53.1 bushels per acre.
"It's still a very big crop," said Bob Utterback, president
of Utterback Marketing. "It's not as bad as we thought it could
have been. With the rain delays, I think the trade is going to
take the attitude that (yields) could shift down a little."
Analysts had been expecting corn production of 14.872
billion bushels, with yields of 181.8 bushels per acre, and
soybean production of 4.733 billion bushels, with yields of 53.3
bushels per acre, based on the average of estimates given in a
In September, USDA had forecast a corn crop of 14.827
billion bushels and a soybean crop of 4.693 billion bushels.
Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybean futures,
which had traded lower for most of the morning, turned higher
after the report. CBOT December corn led the gains, rising
1.7 percent to its highest level in more than seven weeks.
"It makes you wonder what happens if the yield comes down
even more, especially with the weather that we've got," said Ted
Seifried, chief agriculture market strategist for brokerage
Zaner Group in Chicago. "The low is in for corn."
USDA estimated harvested soybean acres at 88.348 million,
and harvested acres for corn at 81.767 million.
USDA raised corn ending stocks for the 2018/19 crop year to
1.813 billion bushels and soybean ending stocks to 885 million
bushels, both lower than analysts were expecting. If realized,
the soybean ending stocks would be the biggest on record.
U.S. wheat ending stocks were raised to 956 million bushels
from 935 million bushels.
(Reporting by Mark Weinraub in Chicago
Additional reporting by Tom Polansek and Karl Plume in Chicago
Editing by Matthew Lewis)
First Published: 2018-10-11 18:07:21
Updated 2018-10-11 19:09:16
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