01 March 2015 | Online since 2003

Wheat market tanks as USDA puts wheat production higher


Beans closed lower, with the new crop Nov 14 contract hitting lifetime lows following the release of the much anticipated USDA report. The reason that US soybean sales are holding up in the old crop essentially seems to be because last year's US production was underestimated. "In essence, USDA is saying last year’s crop production was understated by 94 million bushels or 1.3 bushels per acre nationally, which means the 13/14 yield was closer to 44.6 bu/acre than NASS’s 43.3 bu/acre," said Benson Quinn Commodities.

The USDA increased 2014 US soybean yields from 45.2 bu/acre to 45.4 bu/acre, a record if achieved, although not quite as high as the 45.6 bu/acre that the market was expecting. That takes production this season up to a record 3.816 billion bushels, which is again not quite as high as the average trade guesstimate of 3.823 billion. Ending stocks in 2014/14 were pegged at a healthy 430 million bushels, up from the 415 million forecast last month, with the average farm price forecast trimmed from $9.50-11.50/bu to $9.35-11.35/bu. There were few changes elsewhere to the world supply and demand situation in 2014/15. Production potential in Brazil and Argentina was left unchanged at 91 MMT (record) and 54 MMT respectively. China's import needs were also unaltered at 73 MMT. Aug 14 Soybeans closed at $12.90, down 24 3/4 cents; Nov 14 Soybeans closed at $10.59 1/2, down 13 3/4 cents; Aug 14 Soybean Meal closed at $400.20, down $0.20; Aug 14 Soybean Oil closed at 34.62, down 26 points and another new 5-year low for a front month.


The corn market closed with small gains after the USDA didn't raise 2014 US yields or production by as much as the market expected. Despite widespread expectations of a record 170+ bu/acre yield this year, the USDA only increased potential from 165.3 bu/acre to 167.4 bu/acre, which was around 2.6 bu/acre below the average trade guess. Production was therefore also below expectations of 14.253 billion bushels at 14.032 billion. Old crop ending stocks were expected to come in at 1.24 billion bushels, but the USDA put the actual number slightly lower at 1.181 billion. New crop carryout was estimated at 1.808 billion bushels versus the average trade guess of around 2 billion bushels this time round.

Demand from the US ethanol sector was raised from 5.05 billion bushels to 5.075 billion. The average 2014/15 US farm price for corn was dropped 10 cents from last month to $3.55-4.25/bu. So although the USDA see a record 2014 corn crop and an ample stocks situation, supply is maybe not quite so weighty as the market expected. The question now though is will the USDA ultimately fall into line with many of the other yield estimates out there that are in excess of 170 bu/acre, or will they be proved right once the harvest begins? There was already some talk prior to today's report that they may come in on the low side on yields due to the fact that they traditionally base their estimates, at least partly, on historical averages. Some private analysts say that the benign growing conditions mean that corn ears this year are unusually large, possibly the largest ever. That might explain the reason that other analysts estimates are considerably higher than those from Washington. On the world stage the USDA put 2013/14 corn ending stocks at 171.09 MMT versus the average trade guess of 172.85 MMT, with 2014/15 carryout at 187.82 MMT versus the 192.53 MMT predicted. Sep 14 Corn closed at $3.58 1/2, up 1 3/4 cents; Dec 14 Corn closed at $3.69, up 3/4 cent.


The wheat market tanked as the USDA put US and world production higher than the trade expected. They estimated the US 2014 all wheat crop at 2.03 billion bushels versus the 1.99 billion forecast in July and the 2.01 billion that the trade anticipated. US 2014/15 ending stocks were increased from 660 million bushels to 663 million, which was exactly in line with pre-report estimates. US farm price expectations were cut from the $6.00-7.20/bu forecast a month ago to $5.80-6.80/bu.

The market was surprised by a hike in global wheat production this year of almost 11 MMT to a record 716 MMT. That came due to a 6 MMT increase for Russia, a 2 MMT rise for China and 1 MMT extra from Ukraine. Russia's crop is now placed at 59 MMT this year, with their export potential increased from the 19.5 MMT forecast a month ago to 22.5 MMT, which is 4 MMT more than in 2013/14. US wheat exports in 2014/15 were increased slightly, from 24.49 MMT to 25.17 MMT. The EU-28's wheat export potential was cut by 3 MMT to 25 MMT due to the anticipated fall in quality this year. World 2014/15 ending stocks were estimated at almost 193 MMT versus trade forecasts of 190.4 MMT and the 189.5 MMT predicted a month ago. In other news the French Ministry raised their forecast for the domestic wheat crop from 36.5 MMT to 37.3 MMT. Ukraine said that they'd exported more than 3 MMT of grains so far this year, including 1.3 MMT each of wheat and barley. Russia said that it's 2014 wheat harvest was 47.5% complete, producing a crop of 43.2 MMT so far, with yields averaging 3.59 MT/ha, a 19% increase on a year ago. They've also harvested 10.1 MMT of barley off 37.7% of the planned area, with yields of 2.85 MT/ha representing a 27.2% rise versus last year. Algeria said that it might only have a 2014 grain harvest of around 3 MMT this year versus the 5-year average of 4.5 MMT. Sep 14 CBOT Wheat closed at $5.38, down 8 1/2 cents; Sep 14 KCBT Wheat closed at $6.13 1/4, down 10 1/2 cents; Sep 14 MGEX Wheat closed at $6.09, down 7 1/4 cents.



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