Economy

My big questions after USDA record yield numbers for corn

My big questions after USDA record yield numbers for corn

Chicago corn futures were set on Friday for a second week of decline, with prices trading near a one-year low as a USA government forecast of record yields weighed on the market.

Wisconsin Still on Track to Harvest Record Soybean AcreageWisconsin Ag Connection - 11/10/2017Even after making a few adjustments from the previous forecast, USDA officials are still projecting a record number of soybean acres to be harvested in Wisconsin this fall. That figure already would have stood as a record for Colorado, where the state's all-time production record is 182.71 million bushels, set in 2010.

USDA estimates the season average price for 2017/18 soybeans at $8.45 to $10.05 per bushel, 10 cents higher on the low end compared to a month ago. Unfortunately, the +150 million bushel bump in total demand was more than offset by the massive bump in yield. The USDA late Monday said the US corn crop was 70 percent harvested, in line with trade expectations but behind the five-year average of 83 percent. An estimated 2.95 million acres will be harvested for grain.

"The corn numbers are the biggest bearish surprise in the data", according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. Corn-silage harvest, though, is almost complete here, where about 10 percent of corn acres are harvested for silage. Bulls are obviously saying the USDA's current yield forecast is overstated, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears.

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"It's a major surprise for the trade to see a production increase this large for corn", said Brian Hoops, Midwest Market Solutions, during the MGEX crop commentary call.

Today's close will say a lot about the tone of the soybean market, Knorr adds.

The U.S.D.A. has increased its corn production outlook for Iowa and the nation. Ending stocks were lowered by 22 million bushels but remain at record levels.

The next round of WASDE and Crop Production reports will be released on December 12.