US Corn Crop Estimate Cut 17% With Yields Forecast To Drop To 17 Year Lows

Corn was already surging to new record highs before the USDA released the WASDE report this morning. With a consensus view of 10.929 billion bushels (compared to USDA's prior 2012 estimates of 12.97 billion), the USDA's 10.779 billion bushel forecast means a 17% slashing in harvest expectations. Crop conditions were the worst since 1988 with 69% of the Midwest in drought. Soybeans likewise were expected to show a 2.796 billion bushel production forecast (based on Bloomberg's survey) which compares with the 3.05 billion prior forecast from USDA and just came 4% below expectations. Bloomberg notes: "The U.S. drought means that global corn supplies will be critically tight for the next year; Livestock and milk-product prices will have to rise to cover the increased feed costs. Eventually, global consumers will have to pay the bill." It appears the algos were at play immediately after the report as prices surged (in corn) to $8.49 before falling rapidly back to $8.19, and are now up fractionally at $8.31. The biggest consequence is a heavier drag on any possibility of a sizable Chinese stimulus as food price inflation, as we noted last night, is set to stymie any flood of money. Wheat is down, Corn up a little, Soy up more.

 

 

Via USDA:

U.S. feed grain supplies for 2012/13 are projected sharply lower again this month with corn production forecast 2.2 billion bushels lower and sorghum production forecast 92 million bushels lower. The forecast U.S. corn yield is reduced 22.6 bushels per acre to 123.4 bushels as extreme heat and dryness continued, and in many areas worsened, during July across the Plains and Corn Belt. As forecast, the 2012/13 corn yield would be the lowest since 1995/96." U.S. corn production for 2012/13 is forecast at 10.8 billion bushels, the lowest since 2006/07. Relatively small increases in carryin and imports only partly offset this month’s substantial reduction in crop size. Ending stocks for 2011/12 are projected 118 million bushels higher with lower expected exports, reduced corn use for ethanol, and a small increase in imports. Imports for 2012/13 are also raised, up 45 million bushels to 75 million, reflecting strong domestic corn prices and competitively priced foreign supplies. Total U.S. corn supplies for 2012/13 are projected down 2.0 billion bushels and at a 9-year low.

 

This month’s large reduction in U.S. corn supplies and the sharply higher price outlook are expected to further reduce 2012/13 corn usage. Total use is projected 1.5 billion bushels lower and at 11.2 billion would be a 6-year low. The biggest reduction again this month is for feed and residual disappearance, projected down 725 million bushels. Food, seed, and industrial (FSI) use is also projected lower, down 470 million bushels, mostly reflecting a 400-million-bushel reduction in corn used to produce ethanol. Reductions in other food and industrial uses account for the remainder of the FSI decline. Ending stocks for 2012/13 are projected at 650 million bushels, 533 million lower and the smallest carryout since 1995/96. The 2012/13 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $7.50 to $8.90 per bushel, up sharply from the $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel projected in July. Projected farm prices for the other feed grains are also raised.

 

The 2012/13 season-average farm price for corn is projected at a record $7.50 to $8.90 per bushel, up sharply from the $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel projected in July.

Perhaps even more importantly, Soybean looks set to make new records, which means no mas from PBOC:

Soybean production for 2012/13 is projected at 2.7 billion bushels, down 358 million due to lower harvested area and yields. Harvested area is projected at 74.6 million acres, down 0.7 million from the July projection. The first survey-based soybean yield forecast of 36.1 bushels per acre is 4.4 bushels below last month’s projection and 5.4 bushels below last year’s yield. Soybean supplies for 2012/13 are projected 12 percent below last month to a 9-year low on lower production and reduced beginning stocks. Soybean exports are reduced 260 million bushels to 1.11 billion bushels. Soybean crush is also reduced as higher prices reduce domestic use and prospective exports for both soybean meal and oil. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 115 million bushels, down 15 million.

 

U.S. changes for 2011/12 include increased soybean crush and exports and reduced ending stocks. Crush is increased 15 million bushels to 1.69 billion reflecting increased exports and domestic use of soybean meal. Soybean exports are increased 10 million to 1.35 billion bushels reflecting strong shipments in recent weeks. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 145 million bushels, down 25 million.

 

Soybean and product prices for 2012/13 are all raised to record levels this month, reflecting the impact of sharply reduced soybean and corn production. The U.S. season-average soybean price is projected at $15.00 to $17.00 per bushel, up $2.00 on both ends. Soybean meal prices are projected at $460 to $490 per short ton compared with $365 to $395 last month.  Soybean oil prices are projected at 53 to 57 cents per pound, up 0.5 cents on both ends.