June 29, 2018 / 5:12 PM / 5 months ago

Instant View: USDA corn acreage, stocks figure above expectations

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. farmers intend to plant 89.557 million acres of soybeans and 89.128 million acres of corn in 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

The corn figure was above an average of trade estimates in a Reuters survey while the soybean number fell slightly below the average of estimates.

The USDA projected total U.S. 2018 wheat plantings at 47.821 million acres, above the highest in a range of trade estimates and up 4 percent from 2017.

The USDA also reported U.S. June 1 corn supplies at 5.306 billion bushels, above the average trade estimate. June 1 soybean and wheat stocks were roughly in line with expectations.

Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures pared gains following the release of the reports, while soybean futures extended gains.

Highlights:

- USDA plantings and stocks summary table

- U.S. farmers plant more soy than corn -USDA

- U.S. quarterly grain stocks highlights

- 2017 U.S. planting intention highlights

- Estimates for U.S. quarterly grain stocks

- Estimates for U.S. prospective plantings

- Estimates for cotton, small grains acreage

- History of estimates for USDA stocks data

- History of estimates for USDA plantings

COMMENTS:

- Tom Fritz, analyst at EFG Group:

“Corn acres are bigger than expected and the only reason the corn market is not lower is all of the selling in recent days and, more importantly, they are trying to establish a little bit of a weather premium.

“The wheat numbers were flat-out bearish, but we are trading our global competitor’s (France) lower crop size.”

- Arlan Suderman, chief commodities economist, INTL FCStone:

“The big stand-out to me was the increase in hard red spring wheat acres. I think we would have higher soybean acres if not for that.”

“Corn acreage increased a little bit more than the trade expected, soybeans a little bit less. Yield is what matters going forward.”

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

“It’s a negative corn acreage report, and if you tack yields on to the bigger acres, it says that our supplies are still building. This is a report that we went in with so much negative news, in a market that’s so oversold, that an awful lot of the negativity today is baked into the market.”

“Soybeans was pretty much a neutral number, but substantially over a year ago. But ... we went into this report heavily oversold, accentuated by fears of tariffs. So the report is a little bit muted, but there’s nothing positive.”

- Karl Setzer, analyst with MaxYield Co-operative:

“We’ve put in yearly lows on corn and soybeans, funds are short and we’ve got some bullish weather coming at us. Going into this report, we were leaning so far to the negative side that it’s no surprise to see some buying coming out of it.”

“The huge jump in soybean reserves is a reflection of the slow export pace we’ve seen. We had huge yields last year and we just haven’t seen the demand that we hoped for. That 256 million bushel year-on-year increase pretty much mirrors what we’re behind in our export loadings. It’s a clear indication that the (export) demand is just not there.”

- Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale Inc:

“We did see net higher acreage, and yet the market is doing well holding the line and making gains today. The market doesn’t give a hill of beans of difference about acreage or stocks. They’re just focused on trade and new-crop weather.”

- Matt Connelly, analyst with the Hightower Report:

“In beans, there’s nothing for the bulls to chew on. Corn is kind of the same story. I think what you’re seeing is short-covering, at best. You have to ask yourself, with corn being down 47 cents for the month, and beans down $1.50, do the bears want to push those prices even further down on this news? I don’t think so.

“What’s happening in wheat right now isn’t so much because of this report, but because Strategie Grains cut the French crop forecast by a lot. That has to help the U.S. wheat market.”

- Joe Lardy, research manager at CHS Hedging:

“So, that was a snoozer. We did not get the ‘oh my god, we weren’t expecting that!’ report. It probably is good news, all in all. A lot of people were hoping and praying for a bullish surprise, given where prices are. But coming into the report, there was a real worry that USDA would report something that could turn the markets even more bearish, and it didn’t do that.”

- Jim Gerlach, president, A/C Trading:

“The fact that it’s not a major surprise is a surprise. If you look at the numbers and squint at them, it’s a little bit bearish corn. It’s pretty neutral for soybeans and wheat. I think people are going to turn the page real quick and start trading weather.”

- Ted Seifried, analyst, Zaner Ag Hedge:

“The one thing that is kind of bearish is the spring wheat (acreage) number. Overall the row crops, even the all-wheat number, came in within the market expectations.”

- Jack Scoville, analyst at the Price Futures Group:

“The corn stocks were on the high end of trade guesses, almost 1 million bushels over the average. And almost 1 million extra acres of corn from the average trade guess. The soybeans (acreage) was actually a little lower than expected, and people planted more spring wheat for some odd reason. The market is actually acting pretty well.

“The wheat is really reacting to the Strategie Grains report. You would have thought the (USDA) report would be negative, but we are reacting pretty positively.

“We’ll pivot now to the weather and China, and there’s nothing bullish on the China side. The (U.S.) weather is supposed to get hot and dusty, so if that happens we could have some exciting times.”

Reporting by Chicago commodities desk

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