USDA Reports Summary

USDA Factors Russia-Ukraine War in Latest WASDE Report

USDA released its latest Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports on Wednesday, March 9. (USDA logo)

This article was originally posted at 11:01 a.m. CST. It was updated at 12:05 p.m.


OMAHA (DTN) -- In its March global and domestic supply and demand report, USDA factored in the war in Ukraine by slashing exports from the country, even as Ukraine implemented its own ban on exports on Wednesday.

Just hours before USDA released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, Ukraine announced an export ban on wheat, corn, sunflower oil, oats, rye, barley, sugar and cattle.

In a note, USDA stated "Russia's recent military action in Ukraine significantly increased the uncertainty of agricultural supply and demand conditions in the region and globally. The March WASDE represents an initial assessment of the short-term impacts as a result of this action."

With that, USDA lowered Ukraine's wheat exports by 4 million metric tons (mmt) to 20 mmt. Russia's wheat exports are reduced 3 mmt to 32 mmt "as vessel transportation is expected be constrained by the conflict and the imposition of economic sanctions."

USDA also lowered Ukraine's wheat exports 5 mmt to 27.5 mmt.

Sizeable cuts to Brazil and Argentina soybean production for the 2021-22 season as drought reduced the size of the crop. Brazilian growers are now forecast to harvest 127 mmt, down from USDA's previous forecast of 134 mmt. Out of Argentina, USDA expects production of 43.5 mmt, 1.5 mmt lower than it forecast in February.

USDA left Brazilian corn production unchanged at 114 mmt, while lowering Argentina's expected output for the 2021-22 marketing year by 1 mmt to 53 mmt.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Wednesday's new U.S. ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn and soybeans, slightly bearish for wheat. Hultman also pegged the world ending stocks estimates as neutral for corn and soybeans, bearish for wheat.

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For the 2021-22 corn crop, USDA increased exports by 75 million bushels (mb) to 2.5 billion bushels (bb) and also increased domestic corn use by 25 mb as well. That bumped up total use to 14.935 bb

USDA lowered ending stocks 100 mb to 1.44 bb, that came in a little lower than the overall pre-report trade average.

USDA held production steady at 15.115 bb with the corn yield pegged at 177 bushels per acre. Total supply was maintained at 16.375 bb.

The average farm gate price was increased 20 cents to $5.65 a bushel.

Globally, USDA lowered beginning stocks for the 2021-22 corn crop to 291.45 mmt. Production was increased .79 mmt to 1,206.14 mmt. Exports were lowered 3.77 mmt to 199.9 mmt. Global ending stocks were lowered 1.25 mmt to 300.97 mmt.

USDA lowered Argentina's production 1 mmt to 53 mmt, but exports for Argentina held firm at 39 mmt. Despite expectations for lower Brazil production, USDA held Brazil a 114 mmt of production.

USDA lowered Ukraine production just slightly from 42 mmt to 41.9 mmt. Exports, however, for Ukraine were lowered 5 mmt to 27.5 mmt.


USDA lowered ending stocks for the 2021-22 growing season, reflecting lower production and reduced exports in South America. Ending stocks, at 285 mb, are 40 mb lower than February's estimates and in line with pre-report estimates. The entire 40 mb change is expected to come from increased exports. USDA made no changes to crush demand despite strong margins. It raised the national average farm gate price by 25 cents to $13.25 per bushel.

Globally, USDA lowered ending stocks by 2.87 mmt. Brazilian production was cut by 7 mmt while Argentina's crop was trimmed by 1.5 mmt to 127 mmt and 43.5 mmt respectively. Exports from these countries were also reduced, but by lower amounts than the decline in production. Brazilian exports are seen shrinking by 5 mmt and Argentina by 1 mmt. USDA lowered its forecast for Chinese imports by 3 mmt from last month's estimate to 94 mmt.


USDA increased U.S. wheat ending stocks by 5 mb to 653 mb, on the high end of pre-report estimates. That was driven by a 5 mb decrease in imports, which trimmed supplies by 5 mb, but was offset by a 10 mb drop in exports, down to 800 mb.

U.S farm gate prices were adjusted up 20 cents to $7.50 per bushel on average. "Despite the recent sharp increases in futures and cash prices, a significant majority of U.S. wheat has already been marketed this marketing year, limiting the (season-average farm price) increase," the agency explained in its notes.

Globally, ending stocks were bumped up higher than the range of pre-report analyst estimates, to 281.51 mmt. That was based on higher production and decreased trade and consumption, the agency noted. Australia is set to produce a record 36.3 mmt crop, and exports from Russia and Ukraine have been halted. USDA lowered Ukraine exports by 4 mmt to 20 mmt, as a result of the ongoing invasion by Russia. Russia exports were lowered by 3 mmt to 32 mmt, "as vessel transportation is expected to be constrained by the conflict and the imposition of economic sanctions," the agency noted. The situation leaves Australia and India poised to increase exports, USDA noted, bumping those up by 2 mmt and 1.5 mmt, respectively. Imports were lowered for Turkey, Egypt, the EU, Afghanistan, Algeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania and Yemen, all "based on reduced Black Sea wheat export availability and higher world price," the agency concluded.


Beef production increased by 195 million pounds from last month as slaughter speeds run more aggressively and demand holds strong. Where the WASDE report really surprised was in the quarterly steer price projections. From last month, the quarterly price projections changed by the following: first quarter steer prices gained $1.00 to average $140.00, second quarter steer prices gained $3.00 to average $139.00, third quarter steer prices gained $1.00 to average $136.00 and fourth quarter steer prices gained $2.00 to average $142.00.

If war wasn't a token of volatility swaying the market, I'd say these prices are completely attainable, and there's the potential that the market even rallies beyond those price points. However, with war being a component of the market, the futures complex is likely to stay incredibly volatile, which never bodes well for the cash cattle market. Nevertheless, the sheer fact that supplies of cattle are going to become incredibly thin in the third quarter and throughout the rest of the year bodes well for producers and should help push prices higher amid strong consumer demand.

Beef imports increased by 50 million pounds and beef exports increased by million pounds.

Pork production fell by 65 million pounds as processing speeds lag behind normal standards, and carcass weights have also gotten lighter. Quarterly price projections for 2022 shot higher from a month ago as supplies of hogs remain thin. The first quarter barrows and gilt price projection gained $3.00 to average $66.00, the second quarter gained $8.00 to average $78.00, the third quarter gained $8.00 to average $75.00 and the fourth quarter gained $5.00 to average $65.00.

Pork imports grew by 75 million pounds and export fell by 80 million pounds as foreign pork prices offer buyers a more affordable option.


Editor's Note: Join DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman at 12:30 p.m. CST on Wednesday, March 9, for a look at what the day's numbers mean for grain prices. To register, visit:…

WORLD PRODUCTION (million metric tons) 2021-22
Mar Avg High Low Feb 2020-21
Argentina 53.0 52.0 54.0 50.0 54.0 51.5
Brazil 114.0 112.9 116.1 110.0 114.0 87.0
Argentina 43.5 42.9 45.0 40.0 45.0 46.2
Brazil 127.0 128.2 134.0 121.2 134.0 138.0
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2021-22
Mar Avg High Low Feb 2020-21
Corn 1,440 1,476 1,540 1,350 1,540 1,235
Soybeans 285 270 325 182 325 257
Wheat 653 633 661 598 648 845
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2021-22
Mar Avg High Low Feb 2020-21
Corn 301.0 299.6 302.2 293.0 302.2 292.1
Soybeans 90.0 88.9 92.0 86.3 92.8 100.4
Wheat 281.5 278.0 280.0 275.6 278.2 289.9