USDA reports send corn, soybean futures prices lower

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The combination of large corn stocks and record-high soybean acreage were impetus to send prices lower on Monday, after USDA released Acreage and Grain Stocks reports on June 30.

According to the Acreage report:

• Corn planted area for all purposes in 2014 is estimated at 91.6 million acres, down 4% from last year. Despite being the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010, it is the fifth-largest U.S. corn acreage in since 1944. Growers expect to harvest 83.8 million acres for grain, down 4% from last year.

• Soybean planted area for 2014 is estimated at a record-high 84.8 million acres, up 11% from last year. Area for harvest, at 84.1 million acres, is up 11% from 2013 and will be a record high by more than 7.4 million acres, if realized. Record high planted acreage is estimated in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Compared with last year, planted area increased or was unchanged in the 31 reporting states with the exception of Oklahoma, which is showing a decline of 20,000 acres.

• Hay: Producers intend to harvest 57.6 million acres of all hay in 2014, down 1% from 2013. The expected harvested area of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures, at 18.2 million acres, is up 2% from 2013. Expected harvested area for all other types of hay totals 39.5 million acres, down 3% from 2013.

Harvested area of alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures is expected to increase throughout much of the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains due to timely precipitation this spring. Other hay harvested acreage is expected to decline throughout much of the United States.

All hay record high acreages are expected to be harvested in Florida and Oklahoma. Record lows are expected in Maryland, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Vermont.

According to the Grain Stocks report:

• Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 3.85 billion bushels, up 39% from June 1, 2013. Of the total stocks, 1.86 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 48% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 1.99 billion bushels, are up 32% from a year ago. The March-May 2014 indicated disappearance is 3.15 billion bushels, compared with 2.63 billion bushels during the same period last year.

• Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2014 totaled 405 million bushels, down 7% from June 1, 2013. On-farm stocks totaled 109 million bushels, down 36% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 296 million bushels, are up 12% from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March-May 2014 quarter totaled 589 million bushels, up 4% from the same period a year earlier.

Dave Kurzawski, FCStone, termed the combined reports bearish for corn and soybean prices, with government stocks estimates coming in above average trade estimates.

Trade analysts had pegged average corn stocks at about 3.72 billion bushels, with a range of 3.05 billion to 3.95 billion. Trade analysts estimated average soybean stocks at 378 million bushels, in a range of 334 million to 440 million.

Trade analysts’ corn acreage estimates came in about even with USDA, but soybean expectations had been lower than government projections.

Trade analysts had forecast U.S. corn acreage at about 91.73 million acres (range of 91.0 million to 92.2 million), with soybean acres projected at about 82.15 million (range of 80.5 million to 84.0 million acres).

At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, July 2014-September 2015 corn futures declined 19¢-23¢/bushel on Monday. August 2014-September 2015 soybean futures dropped 48¢-70¢/bushel; and soybean meal futures were down $17.40-$27.70/ton over the same period.


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