Grain prices climb on USDA report

Markets saw fewer corn and soybean acres as bullish, while ignoring record-high stocks.

Wes Ishmael

March 31, 2018

1 Min Read
Grain prices climb on USDA report

Cash bids for corn surged 9¼cents to 15 cents higher on Thursday in response to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report indicating farmers intend to plant fewer acres of corn than expected at 88.0 million acres. That would be 2% less than last year—2.14 million acres less. If realized, corn acreage will be the least since 2015.
Estimated acres for soybeans were also less than expected at 89.0 million acres, which is 1% less than last year.
“While the planting estimate captured traders' attention, prices tended to ignore the record 8.9 billion bushels of corn stocks on hand as of March 1,” said analysts with the Daily National Grain Market Summary. “As with corn, USDA's 2.1 billion bushels of U.S. soybean stocks on hand March 1 was a new record high and more than expected.”
More specifically, according to the quarterly Grain Stocks report issued by USDA Thursday, corn stocks were 3% more than the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were up 2% from a year earlier; off-farm stocks were up 5%.
Soybean stocks were 21% more than the previous year. On-farm soybean stocks were up 28% from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were up 17%.
Acreage for all wheat planted this year is estimated at 47.3 million acres, up 3% from 2017, but it would be the second lowest all-wheat planted area since records began in 1919. All wheat stored totaled 1.5 billion bushels, down 10% from a year ago. On-farm all-wheat stocks were 26% less than last year; off-farm stocks were 6% less.
Harvested acres of all hay are estimated to be about even with last year at 53.7 million acres.

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