To be sure, most analysts and traders already track the progress of crop production in other countries, as evidenced by the release this week of two closely-watched USDA reports.
The upshot is the bean market, which has fallen over the past month on demand worries, now has to adjust to increases in supply. The immediate response in the pits was a drop in the nearby futures contract of a nickel. The decline in harvest time contracts was more significant.
USDA left domestic corn ending stocks unchanged for both the current and next marketing years, but raised world carryout for both years. Of more concern to traders were exceedingly low export sales for corn, which in some cases were 90 percent below trade estimates.
The big news in the wheat pit was a lower forecast for the 2004 winter wheat crop, which fell by 20 million bushels. Even so, domestic and world carryout totals were increased, thanks in part to a decline in 2003-2004 U.S. exports. The bearish outlook had some analysts calling for new contract lows in short order.