Instant View: USDA raises corn yield estimate, lowers soybean yield

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CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture in a monthly report on Thursday raised its U.S. 2019/20 corn yield estimate to 168.4 bushels per acre (bpa), from 168.2 in September, but lowered its estimate of the U.S. soybean yield.

The government’s projection of the U.S. corn crop was 13.779 billion bushels, down slightly from September as a reduction in harvested acreage offset the higher average yield.

The USDA put soybean production at 3.550 billion bushels, down from 3.633 billion in September, and lowered its 2019/20 soy ending stocks forecast to 460 million bushels, from 640 million last month.

The USDA cut its soybean yield estimate to 46.9 bpa, from 47.9 in September.

Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures fell after the reports were released while soybean futures rose.


* USDA trims U.S. corn, soy production outlook

* USDA October crop supply, demand summary

* U.S. and world crop highlights-USDA

* Trade estimates for corn, soybean crops

* Trade estimates for U.S. grain stocks

* Trade estimates world crop end-stocks


* Brian Hoops, president of Midwest Market Solutions:

“The market is focusing on the corn yield. The trade was expecting a reduction and did not get it, actually saw a small increase from last month. Two-tenths of a bushel is not a large increase, but it’s well above what the trade expected, and that set off a lot of selling. The only thing we have to be bullish about in this corn market is possible lower yields and lower production.”

* Ted Seifried, chief market strategist, Zaner Ag Hedge:

“USDA raised the yield in corn, which if you look at the polls not many people were expecting. I think that number will come down over time. (CBOT) corn is testing some very key resistance with its lows today. For soybeans, ending stocks are sub-500 million bushels, and that’s without a trade deal. If we get a trade deal, we’re going to say, ‘Wow, we’re going to run out of soybeans this year.’ I see more upside potential, especially if South America stays dry.”

* Ed Duggan, analyst at Top Third Ag Marketing:

“Most people still believe we’re still dealing with (corn) harvested acres somewhere around 78 million, and not the 81.8 (million) that USDA is using … Until the silage report comes out in January, that’s a number we’re going to have to deal with … I still have a hard time believing a (corn) yield figure of 168.4 (bpa), considering 33% of the crop was planted after June 2. You’ve got a freeze in the northern Plains this weekend that’s going to take the top off some of it. It’s also going to have a bigger impact on the beans, with all the snow in the Dakotas.”

* Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities:

“The corn market and wheat market both say we have adequate to bearish supplies. The one positive is the soybeans. Ending stocks continue to drop like a rock, down to 460 million (bushels), and the government took the cash price up 50 cents a bushel to $9, and took the demand up.”

* Tomm Pfitzenmaier, analyst for Summit Commodity Brokerage:

“There’s way more corn than we thought there was going to be. The yield is better than the trade expected. It just makes it tough going for the corn market, given the demand we’ve got – or don’t have.”

* Jack Scoville, analyst with the Price Group:

“They really trimmed back on the corn demand. That’s one of the primary reasons for corn (futures) being down today … It’s a significant drop in ending stocks on beans, but that’s still an ample supply. There’s going to be questions on the production side of corn, especially since they’re showing weaker production in the beans. I don’t understand why the corn wouldn’t see weaker production as well. That will be a question mark moving forward.”

* Terry Reilly, senior analyst, Futures International:

“The soybean-corn spreading was a given after USDA cut the soybean yield by a bushel and took the corn yield up a surprising 0.2 bushel … It’s not what the amount is for the corn and soybean ending stocks for 2019/20, it’s the direction the stocks are moving. Now that we’re looking at less than 500 million bushels (for 2019/20), longs are starting to get behind the soybean market.”