USDA March 2012 Report Highlights

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USDA left U.S. ending stocks of 2011 corn and soybeans unchanged at 801 million and 275 million bushels respectively – a bearish move given the trade had expected corn stocks to be reduced to 776.5 million bushels and soybeans to drop to 254 million. Corn’s balance sheet was untouched, while soybeans had inconsequential tweaks in the seed and residual categories. 

Wheat ending stocks for the 2011 crop were trimmed 20 million bushels to 825, a bullish surprise to traders who expected stocks of 837 million. Higher exports more than offset slightly lower domestic food use. Feed use was left unchanged.

As expected, Brazilian and Argentine soybean crops were reduced, with Brazil’s production now pegged at 68.5 million metric tons (mmt) versus 72 mmt in February and Argentina’s at 46.5 mmt versus 48 in February. The average trade expectation was 69.52 (range 68-70.5) and 46.93 (range 45.5-48) for Argentina. The combined total of 115 mmt for USDA is somewhat below the trade’s 116.45, so this can be seen as somewhat bullish.

However, traders were disappointed regarding South American corn crops: They expected Argentina's crop to be 21.1 mmt and Brazil's 60.2 mmt. Instead, USDA left Argentina's crop unchanged from February's estimate at 22 mmt and raised Brazilian production by 1 mmt to 62 mmt.

 

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

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