The "guesstimates" were especially friendly to wheat prices with the 2008 winter wheat acreage up only about half as many acres as the trade expected. And in the case of corn and soybeans, the reports were supportive of prices that already were at lofty levels
In soybeans, USDA estimates this year's harvest at 2.59 billion bushels. While the production tally was unchanged from November, the figure was still down from 3.19 billion bushels in 2006.
U.S. ending stocks for corn were also bullish as ethanol use and exports helped lower USDA's estimate to 1.438 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks for soybeans were estimated at 175 million bushels.
Globally, ending stocks for wheat were pegged at 110.93 million tons – down nearly 14 million tons from last year. Worldwide corn ending stocks also were reduced – with USDA estimates of 101.33 million tons. And global soybean ending stocks dropped nearly 15 million tons from the previous year with an estimate of 46.24 million tons.