US soybean stocks are to near-double to their highest in
eight years, with corn inventories seen hitting their highest in a decade,
officials said in their first full crop estimates for next season.
Soybean inventories in the US, which spars with Brazil as the
top grower of the oilseed, will end 2014-15 at 285m bushels, as even record
exports of 1.6bn bushels, up 6.0% year on year, prove unable to erode supplies
lifted by a harvest seen hitting a record high.
"The US share of global trade is likely to remain at the
current level due largely to stiffer competition from South America, where exportable
supplies are likely to reach record levels," the US Department of Agriculture said, revealing its first full formal estimates for next season.
The US soybean harvest will rise 7.9% to 3.55bn bushels this
year, lifted by a record yield of 45.2 bushels per acre, besides the increase
in sowings outlined on Thursday.
For corn, inventories will end 2014-15 at 2.11bn bushels
(53.6m tonnes), up 43% on stocks expected at the end of the current seasons and
a level beaten only once, narrowly, in the last 20 years.
The forecast reflects expectations for a harvest of 13.985bn
bushels, narrowly setting the record, as a bumper yield offsets the dent from
lower plantings, but also a drop in exports in the face of enhanced
"The US will face renewed competition early in the season
from Ukrainian new-crop 2014-15 corn and from Brazilian second-crop 2013-14
corn," the USDA told its annual Outlook conference in Virginia.
"Argentina is expected to return as a major competitor
unless government actions and foreign exchange concerns interfere significantly
Argentine farmers have been hoarding grain, which is dollar
denominated on world markets, as a hedge against a falling peso.
For wheat, the USDA forecast a modest increase in domestic stocks
at the close of 2014-15, by 5.2% to 587m bushels, reflecting ideas of a small rise
in production against a backdrop of declining US feed use, and falling exports.
The rise in harvest expectations, despite lower seedings,
reflects ideas of more crop making it to harvest than last year, when wheat was
damaged by "persistent drought and spring freezes" in the southern and central
A fall to 1.05bn bushels in US exports reflects a forecast
of "strong" competition from other major wheat shippers.
"Supplies in most major exporting countries are expected to
be on par with 2013-14," with those in Canada seen entering 2014-15 at a
20-year high thanks to last year's record harvest.