USDA continues to fuel optimisim about US corn, soybean and wheat supplies

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Yauhen Akulich
© GettyImages/Yauhen Akulich

Related tags Corn Wheat Usda

Grain prices continued their descent as the USDA fueled optimism about supplies, projecting increases in US corn, soybeans, and wheat stocks for the 2024/25 period.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), during its annual Outlook Forum, anticipated US wheat stocks reaching 20.9 million metric tons by the end of 2024/25, marking a year-on-year increase of 3.0 million metric tons and the highest level since 2020/21. This rise was attributed to expanded sowings and improved yields, found a report from CRM Agri.

For soybeans, the forecast indicated a year-on-year growth of 3.3 million metric tons in the upcoming season, reaching 11.8 million metric tons—a five-year high. This optimistic outlook was supported by increased plantings and a record yield.

Predictions for US corn stocks closing the 2024/25 season above 64 million metric tons marked a 9 million metric ton year-on-year increase, reaching their highest level since 1987/88, when farmgate prices averaged less than $4 per bushel.

The anticipated record yield for the current year was expected to offset the impact of reduced plantings, maintaining US production well above consumption needs, commented the UK oilseed and grain market specialists.

Grain prices 

Despite a relatively positive set of US export data for the previous week, grain prices plummeted to new lows, found the analysts.

In late morning trading in Chicago yesterday, May-24 corn futures dropped by 1%, establishing a fresh contract low, while May-24 soybeans dipped by 0.9%, hitting an eight-month low, they reported.

Chicago wheat futures for May-24 declined by 2.6%, also reaching a contract low, with additional pressure stemming from a tender by Egypt's Gasc grain authority that attracted offers totaling more than 1.8 million metric tons from over 30 cargos.

The downward trend extended to European wheat contracts, with London feed wheat for May-24 settling 1% lower. This decline was further influenced by data indicating robust UK imports in November, totaling 172.8 thousand metric tons. Paris milling wheat for May-24 experienced a 1.5% drop, ending below €200 per ton for the first time in two years, said the CRM Agri team.

In this period, rapeseed also succumbed to the selling wave, settling 0.7% lower, though it remained above the closely monitored €420 per ton mark, they continued. The market found some support from a 1.7% rise in Brent crude.

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