The Brazilian private analyst Celeres this week made its first projections for that country's 2005-2006 soybean crop. Celeres thinks Brazil will increase soybean production next year to 63 million tons, or about 2.3 billion bushels. That's more than an 18 percent increase over this year's crop.
The art of crop projection was in full play in the Northern Hemisphere, as well, as USDA released its August production and supply-demand reports on Friday.
Traders in the commodity pits already had factored in the market's anticipations for the report, which meant the main thing to look for on Friday were surprises on the yield forecast. There were few.
USDA projects the 2005 corn yield at just 139.2 bushels per acre. That's a 13 percent decline from last year's yield of 160.4 bushels per acre. Soybean yields were pegged at 38.7 bushels per acre, slightly below 2004's record 42.5 bushels per acre.
Traders also were watching for USDA's projections on soybean ending stocks. The lower yield reduced the estimated carryout from 300 million bushels this fall to 180 million next fall.
USDA reduced its 2006 wheat ending stocks by 66 million bushels. However, those stocks still are estimated to be 94 million bushels larger than 2005.
The estimates were based on surveys conducted around the first of August. And while traders still anticipated the release of the report, some said they already considered the week-old data as irrelevant.