The USDA has tightened the domestic balance sheets for soybeans and corn in the first major set of numbers since the shutdown. Corn ending stocks were down slightly from December with a lower 2018 production total and reduced expectations for ethanol use, while soybeans were also modestly lower on a smaller crop and lower export demand. Wheat ending stocks were up from the previous report because of lower domestic use projections.
The delayed 2018 production total for corn was below most analysts estimates following a bigger than expected cut to the average yield figure, while soybeans were close to expectations, but down from December, with both beans and corn seeing an impact from the late harvest in many areas. The USDA also lowered soybean production estimates for Argentina and Brazil and reduced its soybean import estimate for China.
The 2018/19 marketing year runs through May for wheat, August for soybeans and corn, and September for soybean meal and oil. January's report was effectively canceled by the government shutdown. The next set of supply and demand estimates, scheduled for March 8th, could be delayed if the federal government shuts down again. Current funding runs through February 15th.
Breakdowns of selected supply and demand tables:
2018/19 U.S. wheat ending stocks were pegged at 1.010 billion bushels, compared to 974 million in December and 1.099 billion for 2017/18. The USDA lowered seed use 6 million bushels to 69 million and feed & residual use was reduced 30 million to 80 million bushels, leaving domestic use at 1.113 billion bushels and total use at 2.113 billion bushels. The average 2018/19 farm price is estimated at $5.05 to $5.25 per bushel, unchanged on from the prior report, but above the average of $4.72 from a year ago.
2018/19 U.S. corn ending stocks are seen at 1.735 billion bushels, compared to 1.781 billion in the last update and 2.140 billion last marketing year. The USDA reduced its 2018 production total to 14.42 billion bushels and lowered imports 5 million bushels to 40 million, for a total supply of 16.6 billion bushels. Feed and residual use was lowered 125 million bushels to 5.375 billion, food, seed, & industrial use was down 40 million bushels to 7.04 billion, and ethanol use was cut by 25 million bushels to 5.575 billion bushels, putting domestic use at 12.415 billion and total use at 14.865 billion bushels. The average 2018/19 farm price is estimated at $3.35 to $3.85 per bushel, compared to $3.25 to $3.95 in December and $3.36 for 2017/18.
2018/19 U.S. soybean ending stocks are projected at 910 million bushels, compared to 955 million the previous report and 438 million a year ago. The USDA lowered production to a still record 4.544 billion bushels and reduced imports by 5 million to 20 million bushels, leaving total supply at 5.002 billion bushels. The crush estimate was up 10 million bushels to 2.09 billion, while exports were down 25 million at 1.875 billion bushels and residual use was down 1 million at 31 million bushels, for total use of 4.092 billion bushels. The average 2018/19 farm price is estimated at $8.10 to $9.10 per bushel, compared to $7.85 to $9.35 in the last update and $9.33 last marketing year.
2018/19 world wheat ending stocks were reported at 267.53 million tons, compared to 268.10 million in December. China holds more than half of the world supply. Global production is pegged at 734.75 million tons, compared to the last guess of 733.41 million, with higher outlooks for Brazil, the Mideast, Russia, and dozen smaller former Soviet states cancelling out reductions for Argentina and China. Domestic feed use is seen at 143.19 million tons, compared to 141.96 million two months ago, and exports are estimated at 178.67 million tons, compared to 177.36 million in the last report.
2018/19 world corn ending stocks are expected to be 309.78 million tons, compared to 308.8 million two months ago, with China holding about two thirds of the global supply. Global production was down slightly at 1.1 billion tons following reductions for the U.S., South Africa, and Mexico, which cancelled out increases for Argentina, the European Union, China, Ukraine, and the dozen smaller former Soviet states. Domestic feed use was pegged at 698.06 million tons, compared to 698.74 million in the last report, and exports are projected at 167.36 million tons, compared to 166.46 million in December. USDA did raise export outlooks for Argentina, Ukraine, and the dozen smaller former Soviet states, while lowering expectations for South Africa and Mexico.
2018/19 world soybean ending stocks are estimated at 106.72 million tons, compared to 115.33 million in the last report. The global crop is seen at 360.99 million tons, compared to 369.2 million in December, following lowered projections for the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and China. Domestic crush use is expected to be 304.80 million tons, compared to 308.19 million in the previous update, and exports are pegged at 154.36 million tons, compared to 156.09 million in December. Export projections were cut for the U.S., Brazil, and Paraguay, while the USDA lowered the import guess for China.