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March USDA Grain Stocks & Planting Intentions

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The USDA surprised traders with lower than expected acreage estimates for both corn & soybeans. Intended corn acres came in at 88.026 million vs. trade expectations for 89.42. Soybean acreage came in at 88.982 vs. the trade guess of 91.06. Combined corn and soybean acreage is expected to be down 3.301 million acres from last year.


As you can see in the map to the right, corn/bean acreage reductions were widespread across the Corn Belt and Plains.


All wheat acreage came in at 47.399 million acres vs. expectations for 46.30. Spring wheat was the driving force behind the increase, with 12.627 million acres vs. the trade guess at just 11.5 million.


Cotton, sorghum, rice, oats, and winter wheat were the other crops pulling acreage away from corn & soybeans.

 

Quarterly grain stocks were generally bearish, with most numbers above or near the high end of trade expectations.


The main take-away from today’s reports are the smaller corn and soybean acreage numbers creating a tighter fundamental picture for crops that still have to be planted and grown.


Even using conservative demand estimates, the 2018/19 corn carryout could range from 1.2 to 1.5 billion bushels using a 174 bu/acre yield. Soybean fundamentals for 18/19 are a little less supportive, but the smaller-than-expected acreage number still represents a possible 100 million bushel reduction in carryout.

USDA March Acreage (mln acres)
 
USDA March
2018
Average Trade Est.
Range of
Trade Est.
USDA
2017 Final
Corn
88.026
89.42
87.55-91.00
90.167
Soybeans
88.982
91.06
89.90-92.60
90.142
Wheat
47.339
46.30
43.90-47.20
46.012
All Winter
32.708
32.52
31.50-32.70
32.696
Spring Wheat
12.627
11.50
10.90-11.92
11.009
Durum Wheat
2.004
2.38
2.20-2.50
2.307
Cotton
13.469
13.29
13.00-13.60
12.612
 
U.S. Quarterly Grain Stocks (bln bu)
 
USDA
March 2018
Average Trade Est.
Range of
Trade Est.
USDA
March 2017
Corn
8.888
8.703
8.550-8.881
8.622
Soybeans
2.107
2.030
1.810-2.110
1.739
Wheat
1.494
1.498
1.450-1.640
1.659

Source: USDA

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These data and comments are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to be used for specific trading strategies. This commentary is written as a daily marketing tool to help farmers sell the grain they raise. Although all information is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Past performance and testimonials are not necessarily indicative of future results. Commodity trading involves the risk of loss, and you should fully understand those risks before trading.