Iowa Public Television


USDA Crop Production Estimates

posted on April 8, 2005

The size of the Brazilian soybean crop continues to shrink, now almost on a weekly basis. Brazil's Vegetable Oil Industries Association lowered its harvest estimate for the third time in a month and now projects the crop at 51.7 million metric tons. That's down nearly 10 million tons from initial estimates.

Those sorts of predictions are influencing the markets, which now are compelled to ponder a future of tighter supplies. USDA numbers out this week also stressed the fundamentals, as the trade got an official snapshot of both world and domestic supply and demand totals.

USDA Crop Production Estimates Greater exports for United States soybeans will affect ending stocks according to market analysts. In its April supply and demand report, USDA forecasts the 2004 - 2005 U.S. soybean carryout as 375 million bushels, down 35 million bushels from previous estimates.

Market analysts attribute the quickening U.S. export pace to the shrinking Brazilian crop. Brazil has been struck by drought, especially in the southern soy-producing state Rio Grande do Sul. USDA now pegs the Brazilian crop at 54 million tons in line with expectations, but 5 million tons below February estimates.

Analysts predict soybean exports for 2004 - 2005 will be up 35 million bushels, reflecting reduced South American supplies and stronger-than-expected exports to date.

The lower U.S. soybean carryout is making market prices friendly for some producers. Beans were up 15 cents. Corn & wheat prices were left unchanged.

Tags: agriculture crops government markets news soybeans trade USDA