Minor Changes In USDA S/D Numbers

The April 10 monthly USDA supply/demand update held little news for the grain and soybean markets as the agency made only minor adjustments to its 2005-06 ending stocks projections.

USDA lowered projected corn ending stocks less than expected, pegging stocks at 2.301 billion bushels versus a previous estimate of 2.351 billion bushels and trade estimates averaging 2.261 billion bushels in a range from 2.201-2.340 billion bushels.

The projection for 2005-06 U.S. corn exports was raised by 50 million bushels to 1.950 billion bushels. However, USDA left its projection of feed/residual use unchanged at 6 billion bushels, which is down from 6.162 billion bushels in 2004-05, even though the March 1 corn stocks survey implied that first half feed/residual use exceeded a year earlier.

The projection of 2005-06 U.S. soybean ending stocks unchanged at a record 565 million bushels, despite a continued slow export pace. The trade had been expecting a slight increase as pre-report trade estimates of ending stocks averaged 574 million bushels in a range from 555-602 million bushels.

There were a few notable changes in the world supply/demand projections. Brazil’s projected soybean crop was cut to 57 million metric tons from a previous estimate of 58.5 million tons, reflecting recent official estimates out of that country.

However, USDA trimmed less than 1 million tons off its world soybean ending stocks projection, pegging stocks at 53.75 million tons, down from a previous estimate of 54.42 million.

USDA trimmed its estimate of world corn ending stocks to 129 million metric tons from 130.2 million tons. That decrease largely reflects a cut in the projection for Argentina’s crop to 14 million tons from 15.5 million tons.

Despite the smaller U.S. wheat stocks, USDA raised its estimate of world wheat ending stocks slightly to 143.1 million tons from a March estimate of 142.6 million tons.

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

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.