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May WASDE Brings Out New-Crop Estimates, Southern Updates

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 Friday, May 10. (USDA logo)

In its Friday, May 10, World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, USDA will update old-crop estimates as well as establish new estimates for the 2024-25 season. The Crop Production report from NASS will give the first production estimates for this year's winter wheat crops with state breakdowns.


According to USDA, the new U.S. corn crop was 36% planted as of Sunday, May 5, but markets are already a little nervous about this year's wet conditions and slowdown in planting activity. Knowing USDA estimated 90.0 million acres of corn plantings in March and used a yield estimate of 181.0 bushels per acre at February's Ag Outlook Forum, a production estimate near 14.876 billion bushels (bb) seems likely for 2024-25 in Friday's report, down from last year's record of 15.342 bb.

Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to estimate new-crop U.S. ending corn stocks somewhere between 2.032 bb and 2.513 bb, a wide range. The survey's average estimate of 2.256 bb will be the highest in eight years, if true. Old-crop ending corn stocks are expected to be trimmed 24 million bushels (mb) to 2.098 bb, possibly due to a small increase in the corn export estimate.

USDA has been reluctant to bring down its high corn production estimates for Brazil and Argentina, but Dow Jones' survey anticipates small reductions this month. The survey expects USDA to lower its 2023-24 corn production estimate for Brazil from 124.0 million metric tons (mmt) to 122.5 mmt, or 4.82 bb. Brazil's Conab will have its own estimate out on Tuesday, May 14, currently sitting at 111.0 mmt, or 4.37 bb, for corn.

For Argentina, USDA's corn production estimate is expected to be reduced from 55.0 mmt to 52.0 mmt, or 2.05 bb, still well above the 46.5 mmt (1.83 bb) estimate from the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange. Dow Jones expects USDA to lower its estimate of 2023-24 world ending corn stocks from 318.3 mmt to 315.3 mmt, or 12.41 bb, the most in five years, if true. World ending corn stocks in the new 2024-25 season are expected to climb to 317.4 mmt, or 12.50 bb, an extremely early projection.


Based on USDA's Prospective Planting estimate of 86.5 million soybean acres and February yield estimate of 52.0 bushels per acres, U.S. soybean production in 2024-25 will likely have an early estimate of 4.441 bb on Friday, the highest in three years and up from last year's 4.165 bb.

Dow Jones' survey expects USDA will peg U.S. ending soybean stocks somewhere between 315 mb and 552 mb for 2024-25 with an average guess of 432 mb for the new 2024-25 season. If true, it would be the highest U.S. ending stocks in five years. Old-crop ending stocks are expected to be tweaked from 340 mb to 341 mb with no significant demand changes needed.

It will be interesting to see if USDA lowers its 155.0 mmt soybean production estimate for Brazil on Friday. But keep in mind it is too early to have a good assessment yet of how much production has been lost to flooding in southern Brazil, an event that is not over yet. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA to lower its soybean production estimate to 152.5 mmt, or 5.61 bb, while Conab's current estimate is at 146.5 mmt, or 5.38 bb.

For Argentina, Dow Jones' survey of analysts expects USDA to slightly lower its production estimate from 50.0 mmt to 49.5 mmt, or 1.82 bb. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange is estimating 51.0 mmt of soybean production for Argentina. For world soybean stocks, Dow Jones expects USDA to reduce its 114.2 mmt estimate to 112.4 mmt, or 4.13 bb, the most in five years, if true. World soybean stocks in the new 2024-25 season are expected to increase to a record-high 120.0 mmt, an assertion that has a long time to be challenged.


Using USDA's wheat planting estimate of 47.5 million acres from March and yield estimate of 49.5 bushels per acre from February, a U.S. wheat production estimate of 1.921 bb should be close to the number we see in Friday's report. Dow Jones' survey expects USDA's NASS to estimate all U.S. wheat production at 1.889 bb, up from 1.812 bb a year ago. Other estimates include 1.305 bb of winter wheat production, up from 1.248 bb a year ago; 674 mb of HRW wheat production, up from 1.248 bb a year ago; 413 mb of SRW wheat production, up from 449 mb a year ago; and 210 mb of white wheat production, up from 198 mb a year ago.

USDA's estimate of U.S. ending wheat stocks for 2024-25 is expected to be set at 786 mb on Friday, up 97 mb from the 689 mb Dow Jones expects for old-crop ending stocks. As we saw in the 2023-24 season, U.S. prospects for wheat exports in 2024-25 will depend largely on whether Russia is able to grow another big crop in 2024. Friday's report is apt to assume Russia will have another crop near 90 mmt, or 3.31 bb.

With winter wheat crops already encountering adverse weather early in 2024, USDA's foreign wheat production estimates for 2024-25 will get attention Friday. USDA is expected to start with an estimate of 256.9 mmt, or 9.44 bb, of world ending wheat stocks, the lowest in nine years. The new estimate is not far below the 258.1 mmt of ending wheat stocks Dow Jones expects for the end of the 2023-24 season. Early in 2024, traders are already noticing drought in Alberta, Canada, excessively wet conditions in western Europe and dry conditions in southern Russia with cold temperatures presenting a limited threat this week. Western Kansas has also been dry, and DTN will be reporting from the Wheat Quality Council's HRW Wheat Tour next week.


With new Northern crop seasons getting underway, join us for DTN's webinar at 12:30 p.m. CDT Friday, May 10, as we discuss USDA's new estimates and add in our own market comments. Questions are welcome and registrants will receive a replay link for viewing at their convenience. Register here for Friday's May WASDE report webinar:….

U.S. PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2024-25
May Avg High Low 2022-23
Corn 14,897 15,342 14,720 15,342
Soybeans 4,430 4,496 4,165 4,165
All Wheat 1,889 1,952 1,775 1,812
Winter 1,305 1,395 1,210 1,248
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2023-24
May Avg High Low Apr
Corn 2,098 2,350 1,967 2,122
Soybeans 341 365 304 340
Wheat 689 710 598 698
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2024-25
May Avg High Low
Corn 2,256 2,513 2,032
Soybeans 432 552 315
Wheat 786 862 652
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2023-24
May Avg High Low Apr
Corn 315.3 317.2 311.0 318.3
Soybeans 112.4 115.0 109.0 114.2
Wheat 258.1 259.5 257.0 258.3
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2024-25
May Avg High Low
Corn 317.4 321.2 312.0
Soybeans 120.0 130.2 109.5
Wheat 256.9 241.8 264.4
WORLD PRODUCTION (million metric tons) 2023-24
May Avg High Low Apr
Argentina 52.0 55.0 50.0 55.0
Brazil 122.5 125.6 120.0 124.0
Argentina 49.5 50.0 48.0 50.0
Brazil 152.6 155.0 147.0 155.0

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