USDA kicks the can on last WASDE report of the year

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its final World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report of the year, and according to some analysts, it was rather void of surprise or even change.

“That was the problem — we didn’t see anything, nothing changed,” says FarmLead CEO Brennan Turner, in the following interview from the Prairie Cereals Summit at Banff, Alta. “Literally, the balance sheet was pretty bland in terms of any major changes.”

Turner says that the most noticeable number on the U.S. balance sheet standpoint was durum.

“U.S. durum imports were increased by 10 million bushels, and on the flip-side, exports were also increased by 10 million bushels. So that means carryout was dropped by about 20 million. All things considered, that’s a positive story for the durum market.”

The southern hemisphere also saw a few changes, specifically in Australia and Argentina.

“Why this is important, is that exports were also dropped significantly for both those countries,” says Turner. “Now the USDA is thinking that Australia will export about 8.4 million metric tons — I think it’s actually going to be under 8 million metric tons, which would be their lowest in the last eleven years.”

But, preserving the status quo is probably the easiest thing the USDA can do when things are so uncertain.

“This basically kicks the can down the road — as it kind of has been all summer and all fall — to the final report, which is in January.”

Looking ahead, Turner sees some new opportunities and seasonalities coming into 2020, and suggests farm managers think about forward contracting new crop.

“We have an opportunity to farm another year, and this is another year to improve on what we did last year, or maybe fix some of the things that we wish we could have done over from last year.”