Higher corn ending stocks, but no major surprises in January USDA report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says domestic corn supplies might be slightly larger than what the trade thought, but there were no major surprises in the January World Agricultural Supply/Demand Estimates (WASDE) published on Wednesday.

Corn ending stocks rose by 47 million bushels from the USDA’s December report to 1.54 million bushels, near the top end of the range of pre-report estimates. The department left the average yield at 177 bu/ac, while boosting the harvested acreage by 300 thousand, resulting in an increase to production of 53 million bushels.

While the corn export estimate was reduced by 75 million bushels, one bright spot for corn exports has been movement into Canada. The USDA is forecasting exports to Canada at 3.3 million tons, up 10 percent from last month and the highest since 2002-03. The volume of U.S. corn moved into Western Canada in October and November quadrupled year-ago levels, with large exports expected to continue as the U.S. Export Sales Report showed outstanding sales of 2.2 million tons to Canada as of the end of December.

As for soybeans, the USDA increased its ending stocks estimate by 10 million to 350 million bushels, in line with the average pre-report trade estimate. The increase was mainly thanks to a slight bump in the average yield, up 0.2 to 51.4 bu/ac.

The U.S. wheat ending stock estimate was higher than expected, up 30 million to 628 million bushels. World wheat carryout was pegged at 279.95 million tonnes, up from 278.18 million in December and slightly higher than the average trade estimate.

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