September 30, 2019 / 5:39 PM / 20 days ago

Instant View: USDA's corn, soy stocks figures fall below expectations

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday reported domestic corn stocks as of Sept. 1 at 2.114 billion bushels, below the range of expectations in a Reuters analyst poll.

The USDA reported Sept. 1 soybean stocks at 913 million bushels, also below the range of analyst expectations. The government revised its estimate of the 2018 U.S. soybean harvest to 4.428 billion bushels, down from 4.544 billion previously.

In a separate report on small grains, the USDA trimmed its estimate of U.S. 2019 all-wheat production to 1.962 billion bushels, from 1.980 billion previously. The latest figure was slightly below an average of trade expectations.

Chicago Board of Trade corn futures jumped to a seven-week high after the release of the reports while soybean futures extended gains and wheat futures also firmed.

Highlights:

* USDA stocks, wheat crop report summary

* USDA pegs U.S. soy stocks below expectations

* U.S. small grains summary report - USDA

* USDA quarterly grain stocks report

* Trade estimates for U.S. grain stocks

* Trade estimates for 2019 U.S. wheat crop

* Trade estimates of 2018 U.S. soy crop

COMMENTS:

* Jim Gerlach, president of A/C Trading:

“These were the biggest (quarterly stocks) misses in history and not by a little, by a lot. Last year’s crops were over-stated ... The cash market has been telling you for a long time that we didn’t have a 2.4 billion-bushel corn carry-out.”

* Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions:

“It was certainly a sharper reduction than the trade thought in the 2018 (soybean) crop. We saw the USDA reduce the final crop by 116 million bushels. That was the largest revision to the crop we’ve seen on Sept. 1. The fact that they missed it last year does not imply that this year’s is going to be a big shock as well.”

* Jack Scoville, vice president with Price Futures Group:

“The USDA is telling you that they overestimated the crop last year as much as anything. But at the end of the day, 2.1 billion bushels of corn and 910 million bushels of soybeans is still a lot of corn and soybeans out there.”

* Joe Vaclavik, president of Standard Grain:

“The soybeans, that was a big deal on the balance sheet. Corn stocks number, too, was well below estimates. It’s an aggressive cut, when most people thought we could actually see the USDA come in above the market expectations. This really caught the trade off-guard.”

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

“As far as corn is concerned, it was a bullish (stocks) number. This is a bit of a game-changer for the new crop. We’ll be sitting at a friendlier level for ending stocks than what we were looking at on the September WASDE, when we get the October report.”

* Bob Utterback, president of Utterback Marketing:

“The USDA comes out with a report saying we have 900-plus million bushels of soybeans, and that’s bullish to this market. It’s a sign of where we’re at: We’ve gotten so used to these massive numbers (that) they’ve lost their shock value.”

* Terry Reilly, senior analyst, Futures International:

“We were surprised that USDA didn’t make an adjustment in U.S. corn production for 2018 because stocks came in much below expectations. It indicates demand for corn for feed was much better than expected.”

* Craig Turner, commodities broker, Daniels Trading:

“Corn was the big surprise today. It’s not wildly bullish, but it’s not as bearish as everyone was worried about ... USDA today is taking away the 2 million bushels or so of corn that they said they found in the March report ... That has the market really focused now on yield: Will the (2019) harvested acres come down, as we’re all expecting, and will the corn yield come down, even just a bit?”

Reporting by Chicago commodities desk

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