US feed crops see drops in yield and price, but some record ending stocks remain

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

Despite some drops, high feed crop ending stocks remain ©
Despite some drops, high feed crop ending stocks remain ©

Related tags Bushels Soybean Usda

Corn crop yields and prices dropped in Tuesday’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, but ending stocks rose. 

The report was put out by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and offered a look at both domestic and international supply and exchange.

“January is always interesting for yield, because they’ve pretty much finalize yield,” ​said Mindy Mallory, assistant professor in the department of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois. “It’s not uncommon to see revisions between December and January.”

The report didn’t offer many surprises, she told Feed Navigator, but did offer updated export expectations for corn and soybeans.

“I was interested to see the export number for corn and soybeans since we exported almost half of our soybeans to China,” ​she said. “The USDA did lower the export number for corn and soybeans, but I don’t think that was a big surprise.”

Corn and soy

The area harvested for corn was somewhat increased, but per acre yield has been estimated down 0.9 bushels, said USDA officials. “Corn production for 2015/16 is estimated 53 million bushels lower, but remains the third largest crop on record at 13.6 billion,”​ they added.

Feed and residual use stayed the same, they said, but corn exports dropped by about 50m bushels based on competition from South America. The season average price has been decreased to a range of $3.30 to $3.90 a bushel.  

Stocks increased almost 17m bushels, and the ending stocks were already really high,”​ said Mallory. Although there was a decrease in yield and production that roughly equaled the reduction in corn exports, there was still a net increase in amount, she added.

At 1.8bn bushels, US corn ending stocks are the highest they have been since 2005/06, said USDA officials.

Mallory said she had also been watching for the final acres harvested for the soy report, after the spring flooding some states saw.

“A lot of farmers had to replant those acres,” she said. “And I think we see in those harvested acres, that it decreased a little bit, that not all of those acres were able to be replanted successfully.”

Soybean production was dropped by an estimated 51m bushels with reduced harvest area and yields, said officials. Exports were reduced by 25m bushels and ending stocks also decreased by 25m bushels.

Crush rate remained constant, but meal production has slowed, they said. Meal exports have been reduced based on slow sales and continued competition from Argentina.

Prices dropped to a range of $8.05 to $9.55 a bushel and soybean meal saw a new range of $270 to $310 a short ton– a loss of $20 on both ends, they said.

Sorghum and wheat

Domestic imports of sorghum saw a slight boost and sorghum production was raised by about 3m bushels with more area harvested, said USDA officials.  

Feed and residual use was lowered for wheat, said officials. The drop was about 30m bushels.

Overall US supplies for 2015/16 have been reduced by 6m bushels based on a slight drop in beginning stocks and a reduction of imports, they said.

 However, ending stocks have been increased by about 30m bushels, they said. And, the season average farm price for 2015/16 has been narrowed by $0.10 to a range of $4.90 to $5.10 a bushel.  

International feed crops

Global wheat supplies have been bumped by 1.2m tons stemming from larger beginning stocks and boosted production, said USDA officials. Ending stocks have been increased by 2.2m tons to a record 232m tons – 9% larger than the record stocks established last year.

Production increases have been seen from Russia, Pakistan and the EU, which somewhat offset drops from Uruguay and Brazil, they said.  

Global coarse grain supplies are predicted to drop by about 6.8m tons based on reduced corn production in South Africa and the US, said officials.

However, several countries saw increases in coarse grain imports, including South Africa, Mexico and Peru, they said. China and Saudi Arabia decreased their corn imports.

“Corn exports are also raised for Argentina and Brazil for the 2014/15 (March 2015 through February 2016 local year) further reducing prospects for 2015/16 U.S. corn exports (September 2015 through August 2016),”​ they said.

Global corn ending stocks have dropped by 2.9m tons, but world corn ending stocks are still at a record at 208.9m tons, they said.

Globally, soybean production is expected to drop 1.1m tons to 319m tons, based on reduced crops in the US and South Africa, they said. Oilseed stocks are expected to be down by about 4.2m to 90.9m tons.

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