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USDA Set to Update Demand Estimates Thursday

Todd Hultman
By  Todd Hultman , DTN Lead Analyst
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USDA will release its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports on Thursday, Dec. 9. (USDA logo)

On Thursday, Dec. 9, USDA is expected to make small changes to ending stocks estimates of U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat for 2021-22. Traders will likely also be interested in USDA's view of South American crop estimates.


The December World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report is not expected to shake up markets much, but it is possible USDA's estimate of ethanol demand could be increased. So far in 2021-22, ethanol production has been running at an annualized pace of 5.570 billion bushels (bb), above USDA's current estimate of 5.250 bb. Dow Jones' survey of 18 analysts expects USDA to lower its estimate of U.S. ending corn stocks slightly -- from 1.493 bb to 1.485 bb -- not enough change for prices to notice. The next and possibly final update of U.S. corn production is due out on Jan. 12.

Regarding world ending corn stocks, Dow Jones' survey is looking for USDA to slightly reduce the estimate from 304.4 million metric tons (mmt) to 304.2 mmt (11.98 bb). Early corn crops in Brazil and Argentina are reported to be mostly in good shape, but the larger and more important second corn crop in Brazil is still a couple months away from being planted.


While corn estimates are expected to be slightly friendly, soybean estimates could see some bearish changes, largely due to the disappointing pace of export sales early in 2021-22. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to increase its estimate of U.S. ending soybean stocks from 340 million bushels (mb) to 353 mb. The good news for soybean demand is that domestic demand has been firm with higher crush returns in late fall. At the same time, soybean export sales commitments are down 29% from a year ago and point to a lower export estimate ahead.

Dow Jones' survey also expects USDA's estimate of world soybean stocks to increase from 103.8 mmt to 104.3 mmt (3.83 bb) in 2021-22 -- a slight bearish change. Soybean crops in Brazil and Argentina are off to a good start generally, although there is some concern about dry forecasts for southern Brazil and Argentina. If USDA makes any changes to South American crop estimates, the changes will likely be small this early in the season.


As is often the case, any changes for wheat in the December WASDE report are likely to be small and nonthreatening to prices. According to Dow Jones' survey, USDA will increase its estimate of U.S. ending wheat stocks from 583 mb to 591 mb for 2021-22. If true, that will be the lowest in eight years and is still a bullish supply situation. U.S. wheat exports have not been doing well though and may see a reduction from the current estimate of 860 mb.

In the world estimates, traders will be watching to see if USDA makes any changes to either crop estimates or export estimates from the major exporters. Russia's supply situation is probably the least understood and could see an increase in the export estimate. Dow Jones' expects USDA to increase its estimate of world ending wheat stocks from 275.8 mmt to 276.2 mmt (10.15 bb) in 2021-22.

Overall, USDA's WASDE report on Thursday is not expected to have much price impact, but there is always the possibility of surprise.

Join DTN's webinar at noon CST Thursday, Dec. 9, as I discuss USDA's latest estimates and what they mean for market prices. I'm also glad to answer any questions. DTN offers a rebroadcast link later for your listening convenience. Register here for Thursday's WASDE report webinar:…

U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2021-22
Dec Average High Low Nov
Corn 1,485 1,576 1,403 1,493
Soybeans 353 411 320 340
Wheat 591 623 573 583
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (Million metric tons) 2020-21
Dec Avg High Low Nov
Corn 291.7 292.6 289.5 291.9
Soybeans 100.4 102.5 99.1 100.1
Wheat 288.1 289.0 287.0 288.0
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2021-22
Dec Avg. High Low Nov
Corn 304.2 306.2 302.2 304.4
Soybeans 104.3 105.2 103.4 103.8
Wheat 276.2 278.0 273.5 275.8

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