USDA projects record U.S. corn, soybean production

Reuters — U.S. corn production will crack the 14-billion-bushel mark for the first time in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday, but the crop was slightly below trade expectations, potentially giving a bullish kick to the beaten-down corn futures market.

At 14.03 billion bushels, the estimated crop fell short of trade estimates averaging 14.25 billion, and forecast ending stocks of 1.8 billion bushels were also below forecasts.

USDA estimated the U.S. soybean crop at a record of 3.82 billion bushels, up 16 percent on the year and close to trade expectations, paving the way for ending stocks to more than triple in 2014/15 from the tightest in four decades.

At the start of this week 73 percent of corn and 71 percent of soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition, and development was moving ahead at a normal pace.

For now, most of the Corn Belt has ample moisture to support crop development in the final weeks of maturation.

Overall corn yields will be a record 167.4 bushels per acare, with 11 states expected to post new yield marks.

Aug. 1 data indicated the highest number of ears on record for the ten key corn producing states, USDA said.

Seven states are on pace for record high soybean yields, USDA said, including No. 1 producer Illinois.

U.S. wheat production was pegged at 2.029 billion bushels, up 2 percent on the month.

Projected U.S. season-average prices for wheat were lowered by 30 cents per bushel, for corn by 10 cents per bushel and for soybeans by 15 cents per bushel, reflecting the recent steady declines in market prices.

New-crop corn supplies will be a record 15.243 billion bushels, although USDA trimmed 2013/14 ending stocks based on higher ethanol use and exports. For the current year ethanol demand was 5.12 billion bushels, up 45 million on the month.

Russia, China wheat crops bigger

USDA nudged its 2014/15 world wheat endings stocks forecast to almost 193 million tonnes, above expectations. Russia’s wheat crop jumped by 6 million tonnes on the month and crisis-hit Ukraine’s crop rose by a projected 1 million tonnes, and the Chinese crop was up by 2 million.

“China and Russia imports are lowered 1 million tonnes and 500,000 tonnes, respectively, because of increased production,” USDA said.

The global coarse grain crop rose by some 6 million tonnes, mostly reflecting large corn crops in the United States and Europe, and increased barley output in the former Soviet Union.

India’s delayed monsoon knocked down its prospects for corn, sorghum and millet crops by a combined 2.7 million tonnes.

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