This article was originally posted at 11:02 a.m. CST. It was updated at 11:50 a.m. CST
OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA on Thursday slightly lowered corn and soybean production and yields for the 2018-19 crops in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and Crop Production reports.
Corn production was pegged at 14.626 billion bushels, down 152 million bushels from last month's forecast. Yield was lowered to 178.9 bushels per acre, down 1.8 bushels per acre.
Soybean production was pegged at 4.6 billion bushels, down 90 million bushels, with yield estimated at 52.1 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel per acre from last month.
Soybean ending stocks for the 2018-19 crop were projected at 955 million bushels, up 70 mb from last month's projection due to a projected decline in soybean exports.
Thursday's new U.S. ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn and wheat and bearish for soybeans, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. World ending stocks estimates from USDA were bearish for corn, soybeans and wheat, he said.
For DTN's exclusive audio comments on today's reports, visit: http://listen.aghost.net/…
Because DTN and other news outlets no longer have pre-release access to the reports, instead of one story, we are now sending a series of updates with each including more information as our analysts and reporters digest and analyze the new numbers.
Check this page throughout the morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.
You can also access the full reports here:
-- Crop Production: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…
-- World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE): http://www.usda.gov/…
The U.S. crop came in below the pre-report analyst average, projected at 14.626 billion bushels, down 152 million bushels from last month's production with a yield projection of 178.9 bushels, down 1.8 bushels per acre from last month's forecast.
The average pre-report estimates for corn were 14.71 billion bushels with an average yield estimate of 180 bpa and 81.1 million acres harvested. Despite the lower numbers, the U.S. corn yield remains on track for the highest on record and the second-highest production on record. Harvested area is pegged at 81.8 million acres.
USDA lowered corn exports 25 million bushels, which lowered projected ending stocks for the 2018-19 crop to 1.736 billion bushels, down 77 million bushels from last month's forecast.
The average farm-gate price remained pegged at a range from $3.20 to $4.00 a bushel, as USDA raised the projected floor price 20 cents a bushel. That puts the mid-season projected price at $3.60 a bushel.
Globally, due to new projections on China's crop, USDA made a dramatic revision going back more than a decade. That translated into a dramatic change in the forecast 2018-19 beginning stocks, raising it to 340.92 million metric tons, a whopping 141.91 mmt higher than last month's forecast. That filtered through the use and export projections for the 2018-19 crop to push ending stocks to 307.51 million metric tons, compared to 159.35 million metric tons projected just last month.
USDA forecasts soybean production at a record 4.6 billion bushels, down 90 million bushels, or about 2%, from the October forecast. Yields are expected to average 52.1 bushels per acre, 1 bpa lower than month. Harvest acreage is estimated at 88.3 million acres, slightly lower than last month.
Domestic soybean ending stocks came in at 955 million bushels, up 70 million bushels from last month but within the range of pre-report expectations. USDA reduced soybean exports by 160 million bushels on lower sales forecasts to China. USDA incorporated historical revisions from China's National Bureau of Statistics.
"The forecast protein consumption growth rate for China is reduced, which is reflected in the limited number of U.S. export sales this fall," the WASDE report stated. "Although sales to China are minimal, strong sales to other markets are expected to continue, which is likely to result in a larger share of U.S. exports in the second half of the marketing year."
USDA also increased its forecast for domestic crush by 10 million bushels to 2.08 billion bushels.
It narrowed the range of national average farm gate prices to $7.60 to $9.60 per bushel, a 25-cent decrease from both the previous high and low.
Global ending stocks, at 112.08 million metric tons, are up about 2 mmt from last month and within the range of pre-report expectations. The increase is largely due to increased supplies in the U.S., Argentina and India.
USDA lowered its forecast for China's imports by 4 mmt to 90 mmt, which is still 5 mmt higher than a report from USDA's China's attache earlier this week.
USDA forecast domestic wheat ending stocks for 2018-19 at 949 million bushels, down just 7 mb from last month and toward the low end of pre-report expectations. Production figures were left unchanged, with all-wheat production 1.88 bb with a national average yield of 47.6 bpa.
Most demand categories for wheat were left unchanged, except for a 7 mb increase in seed use, which USDA says reflects increased 2019-20 projected planting acres.
USDA also narrowed the range of national average farm-gate prices for wheat by a dime on the high and low end from last month. The new estimate is for prices to range from $4.90 to $5.30 per bushel.
Global ending stocks for 2018-19 jumped by 6.5 million metric tons to 266.71 mmt, well above the range of pre-report expectations. USDA said the majority of the change was due to updated production data from China over the past decade.
USDA increased China's production for 2018-19 in accordance with the statistics as well, raising output 4.5 mmt to 132.5 mmt. Production in Australia, Morocco, Pakistan and Ukraine declined.
The agency also lowered global export forecasts, largely due to the smaller crop in Australia.
USDA lowered projected cotton production to 18.4 million 480-pound bales, down 7% from last month's projection due largely to Hurricane Michael and related storms. National yield is pegged at 852 pounds an acre, down 49 pounds from last month. Harvested acres were lowered 1% to 10.4 million acres.
USDA reported that before Michael hit, just 9% of Georgia's cotton was considered in poor or very poor condition, but that jumped to 46% after the storm.
Editor's Note: Join DTN Analyst Todd Hultman at 12 p.m. CST on Thursday, Nov. 8, for a look at what the day's numbers mean for grain prices. To register, visit: https://dtn.webex.com/…
|U.S. CROP PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2018-2019|
|U.S. AVERAGE YIELD (Bushels Per Acre) 2018-2019|
|U.S. HARVESTED ACRES (Million Acres) 2018-2019|
|U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2018-2019|
|WORLD ENDING STOCKS (Million metric tons) 2018-2019|
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