CME: WASDE Numbers Better Than Expected

US - USDA released on Friday its latest estimates of US and world grain and oilseed supplies and the numbers were generally larger than expected by the trade, write Steve Meyer and Len Steiner.
calendar icon 12 November 2012
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The table below shows historical figures and pre-report estimates as well as Friday’s November numbers for key corn, soybean and wheat numbers. Detailed supply and utilization tables for corn and soybeans appear on page 2. Some key figures from the reports are:

USDA raised the estimated national corn yield slightly to 122.3 bushels per acre. While a bit higher than the average of prereport estimates, the new yield figure was in no way a shock.

USDA once again left planted and harvested acre estimates alone and thus the lower yield drove USDA’s estimate of the 2012 crop slightly higher, to 10.726 billion bushels versus 10.629 billion last month. It should be noted that acres cut for silage and fodder — a relatively widespread practice this year — are considered “harvested” acres. Given that, USDA’s lack of changes for the harvested acres number is more understandable.

USDA added another 25 million to projected corn imports for this year. That figure now stands at 100 million bushels. That figure shatters the old record — last year’s 29 million bushel.

USDA left all usage categories except non-ethanol food, seed and industrial usage the same as in October. They increased the non-ethanol figure by a modest 17 million bushels which brought total usage to 11.167 billion bushels.

Year-end stocks are now estimated to be 647 million bushels — only 5.8% of total usage. That figure is the third lowest ever — slightly higher than last year’s 5.6% and the 5.0% of ‘95-’96.

USDA lowered its estimated price range by 15 cents on the bottom and 25 cents on the top to bring the mid-point down to $7.60 per bushels. That compares to $7.80 last month.

USDA increased the estimated yield to 39.3 bushels per acre, over 1 bushel higher than was expected by analysts. The increase drove estimated production to 2.971 billion bushels and pushed projected year-end stocks to 140 million bushels, just 7 million higher than last year.

The soybean crop figures were more of a surprise and resulted in much larger price moves on Friday. 2012-crop soybean futures were 31 to 47-1/4 cents per bushel lower on Friday and are trading another 16 to 24 cents per bushels lower on electronic markets this morning. Bean meal futures fell by $7.20 to $13.80 per ton on Friday and are another $4.80 to$7.70 lower this morning. Charts for both of these key products as well as soybean oil crashed through key technical support levels. The gaps at $433 and $427.70 on the December and February meal charts — which once looked like a pipe dream for meal buyers—now appear reasonable technical objectives.

And all of this from a 7 million bushel increase in projected carryout? Not really. USDA also increased its estimate of world soybean production by 1.3%. This consequently increased projected world carryout stocks by 4.3% to 60.02 million metric tons (MMT). Forecasts for Brazil’s and Argentina’s soybean crops remained constant as did forecasts for production in all major importing countries.

If we sometimes put too many personal items in Daily Livestock Report, we will just have to ask for your patience and forgiveness because, no matter what product or service you or we sell, we are all ultimately in the people business. For that reason, we are compelled today to include the sad news that Don Clift, manager of Booker Packing Company in Booker, Texas died, along with his wife Jana, in a traffic accident in Oklahoma Sunday afternoon.

Many of our readers knew Don from his long-standing involvement in the U.S. livestock industry first as part of Elanco’s Graslan/Spike team in the 1980s, then at Texas Cattle Feeders Association, then as general manager of Perryton, Texas hog production company Texas Farms and, since 2006, at Booker Packing/Preferred Beef Group. Don and Jana are survived by two young adult daughters. Readers might recall that it was only 6 weeks ago that 7 Booker Packing employees were killed in a traffic accident on their way to work.

Please keep the Clift girls, Don and Jana’s other family and friends and the people at Booker Packing in your thoughts and prayers. Don was a wonderful person, loving husband and father, devoted Christian and dear friend. We and many others will miss him.

We were terribly remiss on Friday in not mentioning Sunday’s observance of Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. We apologize for our tardiness but please allow us to sincerely thank all of those who have served our country so honorably in the past. Your devotion to duty has provided the freedom that we — and millions of others worldwide — enjoy today. Please accept our deepest gratitude.

Further Reading

You can view the full WASDE report by clicking here.
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