June 12, 2018 / 4:02 PM / 11 days ago

USDA cuts corn, soybean stocks view on strong demand

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) - Rising demand on both the domestic and overseas fronts spurred a cut in the U.S. Agriculture Department’s outlook for corn and soybean stockpiles, the government said on Tuesday.

In its monthly supply and demand report, USDA pegged soybean ending stocks for the 2017/18 crop year at 505 million bushels, down from 530 million bushels a month ago. It boosted its soybean usage by crushers to 2.015 billion bushels, up 25 million bushels.

For the 2018/19 marketing year, USDA estimated soybean endings stocks at 385 million bushels, down from its May estimate of 415 million bushels. The lower stocks figure was largely due to a smaller carry-in from 2017/18. Additionally, the 2018/19 crush estimate was raised by 5 million bushels.

The 2018/19 stocks estimates fell below a range of analysts’ forecasts in a Reuters survey. The 2017/18 figure was below the average of estimates in the survey.

High soybean meal usage was sparking demand for soybeans at processors, USDA said.

On the corn front, USDA pegged 2017/18 ending stocks at 2.102 billion bushels, down 80 billion bushels from May. That was below the low end of analysts’ estimates that ranged from 2.132 billion bushels to 2.192 billion bushels.

The government raised its 2017/18 corn export outlook by 75 million bushels to 2.300 billion. USDA said that corn exports in April hit a record high, topping the monthly shipping record set in November 1989.

For 2018/19, corn ending stocks were seen at 1.577 billion bushels. In May, USDA pegged corn ending stocks at 1.682 billion bushels. USDA boosted its 2018/19 ethanol usage estimate to 5.675 billion bushels, up 50 million bushels from May.

USDA also pegged domestic wheat ending stocks at 1.080 billion bushels for 2017/18, up 10 million bushels from May, and at 946 million bushels for 2018/19, 9 million bushels lower than May.

The government raised its estimate of all U.S. wheat production for 2018/19 by 6 million bushels to 1.827 billion bushels, with slight increases seen in hard red winter wheat, soft red winter wheat and white winter wheat production.

USDA also lowered its estimate of 2017/18 soybean production in Argentina to 37.00 million tonnes from 39.00 million tonnes, but raised its estimate for Brazil’s 2017/18 soybean harvest to 119.00 million tonnes from 117.00 million tonnes.

It trimmed its corn harvest forecast for Brazil by 2 million tonnes to 85 million tonnes and left its estimate of Argentina’s corn production unchanged.

Reporting by Mark Weinraub Editing by Paul Simao

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