USDA: Soybean acres top expectations by 1.4 million acres, corn acres come in near the bottom of expectations, and long grain rice acres forecast down more than 21% from last year.
Soybeans: Today’s perspective planting report forecast soybean planted acres to increase a whopping 7.29% from last year. This increase was almost 1.4 million acres higher than the trade expected. While acres are up significantly, this year’s trend yield is some 4.1 bushels per acre less than last year’s record, which causes production to be down slightly from last year. While marginal increase in demand forecast by the USDA in January, this demand will not be enough at this acreage level, and will cause stocks will swell to over 500 million bushels. Today’s stocks report adds more bearish pressure to prices, as March 1 stocks are estimated at 1.7347 billion bu, which beat trade expectations by 55.7 million bu.
Rice: Long grain rice acres are forecast to decline 21.8% from last year. The sharp decline in acres combined with a trend yield of 165 bu/acre leads to a production decline of 24.5 million cwt from last year. Based on the USDA preliminary demand forecast in January this this production level should bring stocks down significantly from their high levels in 2016/17.
Corn: Corn acres are projected to decline 4.26% from last year. Today’s forecast of 89.996 million was near the low end of trade estimates. While the decline in acres is forecast to reduce production more than a billion bu this year, stocks remain burdensome at more than 2 billion bu, based on the demand forecast the USDA presented at the January Outlook Forum. While today’s stocks report shows corn use slower than the trade expected, the news for the near term will be the lower acreage number. Longer term though, demand will need to pick up to help prevent losses in corn.
See full detail of perspective planting and stocks data listed below by commodity: