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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
12.516bn bushels +133m bushels +85m bushels


3.157bn bushels +259m bushels -24m bushels


1.874bn bushels -205m bushels

+25m bushels


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