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Friday's key USDA statistics - and how they matched up to traders' forecasts

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Grain investors found another reason to sell on Friday, when the US Department of Agriculture revealed a slew of data which, for one thing, forecast US stocks of corn and wheat larger than traders had forecast.

 

For another, winter wheat sowings, while pegged at a 109-year low, did not fall as far as investors had expected.

 

The soybean market, however, emerged with somewhat more bullish credentials.

 

Below the key data, their change on previous USDA estimates, and on market expectations as gleaned by Reuters polls for grains, and a Bloomberg poll for cotton.

 

 

USDA forecasts for crop stocks at the close of 2017-18
January 12 forecast Change from previous forecast Difference from market expectation

US corn

 

2.477bn bushels +40m bushels +46m bushels

World corn

 

206.57m tonnes +2.49m tonnes +3.48m tonnes

US soybeans

 

470m bushels +25m bushels -2m bushels

World soybeans

 

98.57m tonnes -+250,000 tonnes -49m tonnes

US wheat

 

989m bushels +29m bushels +30m bushels

World wheat

 

268.02m tonnes -400,000 tonnes +240,000 tonnes

 

 

 

 

USDA estimates for US 2017-18 crop production
January 12 estimate Change from previous estimate Difference from market expectation
Corn area (harvested)
82.703m acres -416,000 acres -400,000 acres

Corn yield

 

176.6 bushels per acre +1.2 bushels per acre +1.2 bushels per acre

Corn production

 

14.604bn bushels +26m bushels +25m bushels

Soybean area (harvested)

89.522m acres +51,000 acres +21,000 acres

Soybean yield

 

49.1 bushels per acre -0.4 bushels per acre -0.4 bushels per acre

Soybean production

 

4.392bn bushels -33m bushels -35m bushels

 

 

 

USDA estimates for US winter wheat sowings for 2018 harvest
January 12 estimate Change on year-ago figure Difference from market expectation
Hard red winter
23.1m acres -0.3m acres +0.8m acres

Soft red winter

 

5.98m acres +0.25m acres +0.42m acres

White winter

 

3.56m acres +0.02m acres +0.12 acres

Total winter wheat

32.608m acres -88,000 acres +1.301m acres

 

 

 

USDA estimates for South American corn, soybean production 2017-18
January 12 forecast Change from previous forecast Difference from market expectation
Brazilian corn
95.0m tonnes Unchanged +0.87m tonnes

Brazilian soybeans

 

110.0m tonnes +2.0m tonnes -0.27m tonnes

Argentine corn

 

42.0m tonnes Unchanged +0.5m tonnes

Argentine soybeans

56.0m tonnes -1.0m tonnes -0.33m tonnes

 

 

USDA cotton forecasts for 2017-18
January 12 forecast Change from previous forecast Difference from market expectation

US production

 

21.26m bales -180,000 bales -100,000 bales

US exports

 

14.80m bales Unchanged -311,000 bales

US carry-out stocks

5.70m bales -100,000 bales +190,000 bales

World production

120.97m bales +1.01m bales +2.1m bales

World consumption

120.83m bales +1.24m bales +1.32m bales

World carry-out stocks

 

87.79m bales -210,000 bales +500,000 bales

 

 

 

USDA estimates for US crop stocks, December 1 2017
January 12 estimate Change on year Difference from market expectation
Corn
12.516bn bushels +133m bushels +85m bushels

Soybeans

3.157bn bushels +259m bushels -24m bushels

Wheat

1.874bn bushels -205m bushels

+25m bushels

 

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