US corn production prospects received a rare downgrade –
albeit to a still-high figure – in a spate of revised harvest estimates implying
scope for large upgrades when US officials next week revisit their own forecasts.
Analysis group Lanworth trimmed by 0.8 bushels per acre to 173.7
bushels per acre its forecast for the US corn yield this year, and by 200m
bushels to 14.6bn bushels its estimate for production.
The downgrade contrasted with the upward trend of most crop
forecasts, including from INTL FCStone, which overnight raised its estimate for
the yield by 1.7 bushels per acre to 174.1 bushels per acre, and for production
by 140m bushels to 14.595bn bushels.
Strong US Department of Agriculture data on the condition of
the US corn crop, rated by far the best since at least 1994 for the time of
year, prompted Futures International to lift its forecasts too.
East vs west Corn
Lanworth, which employs satellite data significantly in its
analysis, said that its downgrade reflected evidence of "moderately suppressed
crop vegetation density over previously dry areas of Iowa, Minnesota, and
US corn yield, (production) forecasts
FCStone: 174.1 bushels per acre, (14.595bn bushels)
Lanworth: 173.7 bushels per acre, (14.6bn bushels)
Allendale: 171.9 bushels per acre, (14.409bn bushels)
Futures International: 170.8 bushels per acre, (14.280bn bushels)
Nonetheless, its estimate remains well above a USDA forecast
of 167.4 bushels per acre, which is up for revision next week with the release
of the monthly Wasde crop report.
In eastern Corn Belt states a "combination of favourably
cool temperatures, near-average precipitation and timely crop development
indicate corn could yield 8-16% above trend and well above USDA's August estimates",
Separately, Allendale released the results of a farmer
survey showing a yield forecast of 171.9 bushels per acre, and production estimate
of 14.409bn bushels.
Lanworth added that weather forecasts "do not yet indicate
risk for early freeze across the northern production region" which would pose a
threat to harvest prospects in potentially bringing the growing season to an
US soybean yield, (production) forecasts
FCStone: 47.6 bushels per acre, (4.00bn bushels)
Lanworth: 46.7 bushels per acre, (3.85bn bushels)
Allendale: 46.4 bushels per acre, (3.884bn bushels)
Futures International: 46.2 bushels per acre, (3.880bn bushels)
However, it did highlight the potential for a downgrade to
its production forecast from a revision to acreage estimates, with data from
the Farm Service Agency gleaned from insurance returns indicating "a loss of 1m
acres or more from our current estimate of US corn plantings".
Lanworth, which revealed an estimate for harvested US corn area
of 84.328m acres, a little above the USDA forecast, said that it was continuing
to review its forecast.
The group restated an estimate for the US soybean yield of
46.7 bushels per acre, with production pegged at 3.85bn bushels, down 10m
bushels from the previous forecast.
"Minor yield reductions in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and
Nebraska are largely offset by higher yield in Indiana and Delta states,"
The comments came in a report in which the group also
reduced its estimate for the Argentine wheat crop by 700,000 tonnes to 12.1,
tonnes, citing "excessive precipitation" in parts of the major producing
province of Buenos Aires.
The forecast for China's corn harvest was downgraded by 2m
tonnes to 218m tonnes, after "below average precipitation fell across the
Northeast provinces of Jilin and Liaoning, and much of the North China Plain"
"In spite of recent precipitation, current soil moisture
remains well below average across Hebei, Shandong and Henan and slightly below
average in Jilin and Liaoning," the group said.
"Drought impacts are likely to be as severe as 2002 for
Hebei (-5%) and Shandong (-13%), and 2009 for Liaoning (-22%)."
The USDA estimates Chinese corn output this year at 222m