The impact of record April corn planting was readily apparent in the Agriculture Department's latest estimates on domestic agricultural supply and demand.
Corn numbers were larger than expected in every supply category. USDA raised old crop corn stocks by 15 percent to 851 million bushels. That's about 90 million more bushels than the trade expected and nearby corn futures prices declined sharply Thursday in the wake of the report.
Turning to the new crop: USDA estimates America's farmers will harvest a record 14.8 billion bushels of corn this fall... up more than 15 percent from last year. The national average corn yield also is expected to soar to an all-time high of 166 bushels per acre.
Domestic corn ending stocks are pegged at 1.9 billion bushels for the 2012-13 crop year, compared to the average trade estimate of 1.7 billion bushels.
Global corn ending stocks were estimated at 152.34 million metric tons, up nearly 20 percent last year and well above the average trade guess.
Soybean numbers were more in line with trader expectations -- and more friendly to prices. Old crop U.S. bean stocks were estimated at 210 million bushels. That's down more than 15 percent from last year but only 2 percent below what traders were expecting.
On the new crop, USDA predicts America's soybean producers will harvest 3.2 billion bushels on a national average yield of 43.9 bushels per acre. Bean ending stocks for 2012-13 were estimated at 145 million bushels compared to the average trade estimate of 172 million bushels. That proved to be bullish as both nearby and deferred futures contracts settled Thursday with gains of about 25 cents.
Global 2012-13 soybean ending stocks were estimated at 58.07 million tons compared to the average trade estimate of 58.24 million tons.
Wheat numbers also were fairly close to what traders expected. Old crop wheat stocks were estimated at 768 million bushels. That's down about 3 percent from last year, but it's less than 2 percent below the average trade guess of 781 million.
New crop U.S. wheat production is pegged at 2.245 billion bushels on a national average yield of 45.7 bushels per acre. Domestic wheat ending stocks for 2012-13 are estimated at 735 million bushels. That's more than 10 percent less than the average trade guess, and wheat prices posted modest gains on the news.
Global wheat ending stocks for 2012-13 were pegged at just over 188 million tons... about 5 percent below last year.
The trade's attention now shifts primarily to planting progress and crop conditions. And prices are expected to be heavily influenced by Mother Nature.