2004 was a busy year at the Chicago Board of Trade. The CBOT reports it had a 16.7 percent jump in the number of trades in its agricultural futures complex last year. Volume records were broken in a number of pits, including corn, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil. Trading in options on many of those same commodities also set a record.
2005 could promise more of the same. Traders this week were busy anticipating next week's USDA crop projections for the coming year ... as well as churning this week's private estimates. Though not dramatic enough to alter the fundamental supply-demand equation, the numbers still got the attention of the trade.
The combines have barely cooled in the shed from the lengthy, bumper harvest and talk already has begun on the 2005 crop.
The USDA crop production report comes out next week, but as usual ... private companies are releasing their own estimates beforehand. Two companies project lower numbers than USDA's November estimates.
Both Informa Economics and Allendale Incorporated peg the 2005 corn crop at over 11.7 (B) billion bushels. Informa based its numbers on an average yield of 160 bushels per acre.
Allendale projects a decrease in ending corn stocks, at 1.821 billion bushels, down from November estimates.
For world corn production for 2005, Informa projects the total at 617 (M) million metric tons -- down 5% from a year ago.
For soybeans, Informa and Allendale project
Allendale at 3.150 b more than 3.1 (B) billion bushels. Informa based its projection a soybean yield of 42.2 bushels per acre.
Allendale estimates winter wheat planting at 43.403 (M) million acres ... a bit higher than Informa's projected 42.305 (M) million acres.
Informa estimates world wheat output at 617 (M) million tons, down 1 million tons from a year ago.