U.S. production of spring wheat will fall to a 15-year low, the government said on Wednesday, as crop development in top production state North Dakota has been crippled by searing heat and scant rains throughout June and July.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also raised its corn and soybean production forecasts despite a late start to planting and colder-than-usual temperatures during the spring that raised concerns about crop health.
The government in its monthly supply and demand report pegged the harvest of spring wheat other than durum at 423 million bushels on a yield of 40.3 bu. per acre. Analysts had forecast spring wheat production at 416 million bu., based on the average of estimates given in a Reuters poll.
 
USDA raised its estimate of the winter wheat crop to 1.279 billion bu., near the high end of a range of analysts’ forecasts, from its June forecast of 1.250 billion bu.. The hard red winter wheat crop was pegged at 758 million bu., 15 million bu. higher than USDA’s June outlook. The government forecast total wheat production of 1.760 billion bu., which would be the smallest since a harvest of 1.606 billion bu. in 2002.
 
For soybeans, USDA surprisingly raised its 2017-18 harvest outlook to 4.260 billion bu., the high end of market forecasts and 5 million higher than its June estimate. Soybean yields were unchanged at 48.0 bu. per acre.
The average of analysts’ forecasts for soybeans was a harvest of 4.243 billion bu. and yields of 47.9 bu. per acre.
 
The 2017-18 corn crop was pegged at 14.255 billion bu., above the high end of analysts’ forecasts that ranged from 13.841 billion bu. to 14.253 billion bu.. The corn yield outlook was unchanged at 170.7 bu. per acre, which was the high end of market expectations.
 
USDA trimmed its outlook for 2016-17 soybean ending stocks by 40 million bu. to 410 million bu. due to a 50-million bushel increase to its export forecast and a 10-million bushel cut to its crushing forecast. Soybean ending stocks for 2017-18 were seen at 460 million bu., 35 million bu. below the government’s June estimate.
 
USDA raised its 2016-17 corn ending stocks view to 2.370 billion bu. due to lower use in the feed and residual category. New-crop corn stocks were raised to 2.325 billion bu..
 
For wheat, 2017-18 ending stocks were raised to 938 million bu.