KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, US — A bevy of reports from the US Department of Agriculture on Jan. 12 were viewed as mostly bearish for wheat and corn futures but supportive for soybeans, relative to trade expectations.

Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures closed lower after the reports, corn futures were narrowly mixed and soybean futures ended higher, aided by the USDA’s lowering of global ending stock forecasts amid persisting reports of dry weather impacting crops in South America.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates:

    Carryover of all wheat on June 1, 2022, in the United States was forecast at 628 million bushels, up 30 million bushels, or 5%, from the December forecast but down 26% from 845 million bushels in 2021.

    Corn carryover on Sept. 1, 2022, was forecast at 1.54 billion bushels, up 47 million bushels, or 3.1%, from December and up 25% from 1.235 billion bushels a year earlier.

    Soybean carryover on Sept. 1, 2022, was forecast at 350 million bushels, up 10 million bushels, or 2.9%, from December and up 36% from 257 million bushels in 2021. 

    The averages of trade expectations for the USDA’s carryover projections were 608 million bushels for wheat, 1.472 billion bushels for corn and 348 million bushels for soybeans.

    Crop Production, 2021 Summary:

    Corn production in 2021 was estimated at 15.115 billion bushels, up 53 million bushels from the most recent estimate in November and up 7% from 2020. The average yield set a record high at 177 bushels per acre, unchanged from November but up 5.6 bushels from 2020. Harvested area was estimated at 85.388 million acres, up 303,000 acres from November and up 3.075 million acres, or 3.7%, from 2020. The average of trade expectations for corn production was 15.069 billion bushels, with the USDA estimate squarely within the full range of individual trade expectations.

    Soybean production was estimated at 4.435 billion bushels, up 10.29 million bushels, or 2.3%, from November and up 218.93 million bushels, or 5%, from 2020. Average yield was estimated at 51.4 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushels from the prior estimate and up 0.4 bushels from 2020. The yield was the second highest recorded after 2016’s record setting 51.9 bushels per acre. Harvested area was estimated at 86.332 million acres, down 104,000 acres from the previous estimate but up 3.729 million acres, or 4.5%, from 2020. The average of trade expectations for soybean production was 4.433 billion bushels. 

    Grain Stocks:

    Stocks of all wheat on Dec. 1, 2021, were estimated at 1.389 billion bushels, down 18% from a year earlier, including 273.29 million bushels on farms, down 43%, and 1.117 billion bushels in commercial storage, down 8%. Indicated September-November disappearance was 384 million bushels, down 16% from the same period a year earlier.

    Dec. 1, 2021, durum stocks were estimated at 43.006 million bushels, down 30% from a year earlier.

    Corn stocks on Dec. 1, 2021, were estimated at 11.647 million bushels, up 3.1% from a year ago, including on-farm stocks at 7.234 billion bushels, up 3%, and off-farm stocks at 4.413 billion bushels, up 4%. Indicated September-November corn disappearance was 4.70 billion bushels, down from 4.74 billion bushels a year earlier.

    Soybean stocks on Dec. 1, 2021, were estimated at 3.149 billion bushels, up 7% from Dec. 1, 2020, including 1.522 billion bushels on farms, up 16%, and 1.627 billion bushels off farms, down 1%. Indicated September-November disappearance was 1.54 billion bushels, down 14% from the same period a year earlier.

    Winter Wheat and Canola Seedings:

    US winter wheat planted for harvest in 2022 was estimated at 34.397 million acres, up 749,000 acres, or 2.2%, from 2021. Hard red winter wheat seeded area was estimated at 23.8 million acres, up 1%, soft red winter area at 7.07 million acres, up 6%, and white winter wheat area at 3.56 million acres, up 2%. The all-wheat and soft red winter seedings estimates were above the average of trade expectations at 34.255 million and 6.555 million acres, respectively, while the hard red winter and white winter estimates were below the trade averages of 24.034 million and 3.577 million acres, respectively.

    Final 2021 wheat production estimates were issued by the USDA in the Sept. 30 Small Grains 2021 Summary.