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April WASDE Report Weighs in on South American Crop Estimates

Todd Hultman
By  Todd Hultman , DTN Lead Analyst
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USDA will issue its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report for April on Tuesday, April 11. (USDA logo)

On Tuesday, April 11 at 11 a.m. CDT, USDA will issue the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) for April. Much of the attention will be on South American production estimates and there will likely be small tweaks to U.S. ending stocks estimates of corn and soybeans, but not much else. Questions about the new-crop season will have to wait for USDA's report on May 12.

CORN

On March 31, USDA revealed 7.401 billion bushels (bb) of ending corn stocks on March 1, 79 million bushels (mb) less than analysts in Dow Jones' survey were expecting and the lowest March 1 total in nine years. Because of that, many are expecting USDA to lower its estimate of U.S. ending corn stocks. For Tuesday's report, Dow Jones' survey of 20 analysts expects USDA to lower its estimate of U.S. ending corn stocks from 1.342 bb to 1.316 bb, a 26 mb reduction. Along with the reduction, don't be surprised if USDA reduces its estimate of corn exports in 2022-23 as actual shipments are down 40% from a year ago as of March 30.

With Brazil near the end of second corn crop planting, there will also be attention on USDA's latest South American production estimates. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to increase its estimate of Brazil's corn production in 2022-23 from a record high 125.0 mmt to 126.4 mmt or 4.98 bb. Given the difficult time the U.S. had competing with last year's Brazilian production of 116.0 mmt, we can only imagine how bearish an even larger crop could be after this year.

Part of Brazil's production is expected to be offset by Argentina's drought in 2023. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to reduce its estimate of Argentina's corn production by 3 mmt to 37.0 mmt or 1.46 bb. If true, it would be Argentina's smallest crop in 5 years. For the world, Dow Jones expects USDA to lower its estimate of ending stocks from 296.46 mmt to 295.10 mmt or 11.62 bb. In March, world ending corn stocks apart from China were estimated at 89.14 mmt or 3.51 bb, the second lowest total in 10 years, and remains an important metric to watch.

SOYBEANS

Similar to corn, USDA also revealed a less-than-expected March 1 total of soybean stocks of 1.685 bb, 68 mb less than Dow Jones' expectation and the second lowest March 1 total in seven years. The odd thing is that USDA is already estimating U.S. ending soybean stocks at 210 mb in March, the lowest total in seven years. Soybean demand still has some ground to gain in the second half of 2022-23, but it may be difficult if high old-crop prices ration demand. Dow Jones expects USDA to reduce its estimate of ending soybeans stocks for 2022-23 from 210 mb to 201 mb, a tight scenario for supplies this summer.

Dow Jones expects USDA to slightly reduce its snapshot estimate of world soybean stocks from 99.00 mmt to 98.6 mmt or 3.62 bb. A slightly higher production estimate for Brazil is expected at 153.6 mmt or 5.64 bb. The estimate for Argentina's soybean crop is expected to be reduced from 33.0 mmt to 29.0 mmt or 1.06 bb. If true, it will be Argentina's smallest soybean crop in 22 years.

WHEAT

For world ending wheat stocks, Dow Jones' survey only expects a slight reduction, from 267.20 mmt in March to 267.10 mmt or 10.52 bb in April, the lowest in six years. Excluding China, March's estimate of world ending wheat stocks was 127.62 mmt or 4.69 bb, the lowest in 10 years.

Because USDA's estimate of March 1 wheat stocks total of 946 mb came in 18 mb higher than Dow Jones' survey was expecting, Dow Jones' analysts expect USDA to increase its estimate of U.S. ending wheat stocks for 2022-23 from 568 mb in March to 581 mb in April. Even if true, it would still be the lowest U.S. ending wheat stocks in 15 years.

Aside from getting updates on South America, USDA's April WASDE report is typically a quiet event. With planting season about to pick up, traders are generally more interested in new-crop estimates, but will have to wait until May 12 before USDA offers any help.

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Join us at 12:30 p.m. CST Tuesday, April 11 as we discuss USDA's new estimates and what they mean for crop prices. We are also glad to take questions. For those busy at 12:30 p.m., there will be a link provided to replay the webinar at your convenience, but you need to register. Register here for Tuesday's April WASDE report webinar: https://www.dtn.com/…

U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2022-23
Apr Avg High Low Mar 2021-22
Corn 1,316 1,392 1,182 1,342 1,377
Soybeans 201 235 170 210 274
Wheat 581 616 557 568 698
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2022-23
Apr Avg High Low Mar 2021-22
Corn 295.1 298.0 291.7 296.5 305.7
Soybeans 98.6 101.9 96.5 100.0 99.0
Wheat 267.1 269.0 265.0 267.2 271.5
WORLD PRODUCTION (million metric tons) 2022-23
Apr Avg High Low Mar 2021-22
CORN
Argentina 37.0 39.0 33.0 40.0 49.5
Brazil 126.4 131.3 123.0 125.0 116.0
SOYBEANS
Argentina 29.0 31.5 25.0 33.0 43.9
Brazil 153.6 157.7 151.0 153.0 129.5

Todd Hultman can be reached at todd.hultman@dtn.com

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Todd Hultman