Fundamentally Speaking

USDA Pegs 2023/24 Global Corn, Soybean Yields at Record High

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

USDA's WASDE report last week posted the first 2023/24 production estimates for major crops including corn, soybeans and wheat, showing that global production of each projected at record highs.

Supporting record world coarse grain and total oilseed output is the fact that the U.S. is seen having all-time high output figures in corn and soybeans, though that is not the case for wheat.

The main reason for this is yields as USDA maintained their 2023 projections given at the February Ag Outlook Forum at 181.5 bushels per acre (bpa) for corn and 52.0 bpa for soybeans, both records, while this year's all wheat yield was pegged at 44.7 bpa which is 1.8 lower than last year based on a dismal U.S. winter wheat crop.

For corn and soybeans, we should note that the projected world yields at 6.01 metric tons/hectare and 2.94 mt/ha respectively are also projected at record highs.

As opposed to wheat, these two crops have the bulk of the 2023/24 growing season ahead of them, whereas global wheat production prospects more defined at this point of the season as WASDE 2023/224 global wheat yield, even with U.S. problems, is still pegged at 3.57 mt/ha, just below the year ago record of 3.58.

This chart shows the percent deviation from the 2000-2023 trend for U.S. corn, soybean and wheat yields on the right-hand axis and world corn, soybeans and wheat percent deviations on the left-hand axis.

The U.S. corn yield at 181.5 bpa (11.39 mt/ha) is 1.2% above trend which would be the best performance in five seasons, yet world yield of 6.01 mt/ha is still 0.4% below the long-term trend.

The projected U.S. soybean yield of 52.0 bpa (3.50 mt/ha) is actually 0.1% below trend, but world soybean yield is seen 1.9% above trend.

Even though the world wheat yield at 3.57 mt/ha, is just 0.1 below record, it is still 2.0% below trend with part of that due to U.S. yield at 3.01 mt/ha which would be the largest negative deviation from trend at down 8.3% since the 2006/07 season.


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