Bullish Market Reaction to Lower Than Expected Numbers in the USDA Report

The markets have reacted bullishly to the release of the USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks numbers. Below is commentary with Arlan Suderman of StoneX and Jesse Allen recapping the report. Also, view the numbers in the chart below from Professional Ag Marketing and a full report from DTN/Progressive Farmer after that.

Courtesy of Professional Ag Marketing.

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA increased its estimate of 2021 planted corn acreage to 92.7 million acres, but left soybean acreage untouched at 87.6 million acres, in USDA’s Acreage and Quarterly Grain Stocks reports, released June 30.

Both acreage amounts came in below analyst’s average pre-report expectations. The corn number is a 2% increase from last year, while soybean acreage represents a 5% increase.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, USDA’s prospective plantings estimates are bullish for new-crop corn and soybeans, but slightly bearish for wheat. Meanwhile, Hultman pegged USDA’s June 1 grain stocks estimates as slightly bullish for corn, soybeans and wheat.

Stay tuned throughout the morning and refresh this page often as we will be sending a series of updates with the important highlights from today’s reports, including commentary from our analysts.

You can also access the full reports here: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

PLANTED ACREAGE

USDA projects farmers have planted 92.7 million acres of corn, coming in closer to the low end of analyst expectations.

The Dow Jones average pre-report estimate came in at 93.8 million acres. USDA, in its Prospective Plantings report in March, had projected 91.14 million corn acres, which was deemed as a low estimate at the time. The acreage released Wednesday is 1.88 million acres above 2020 when farmers planted 90.82 million acres.

Expected harvest for corn is forecast at 84.5 million acres, up 2% from a year ago. At 177 bushels-per-acre expected, that would peg production at 14.956 billion bushels (bb).

For soybeans, USDA states farmers planted 87.6 million acres, which falls below the low end of pre-report estimates. The pre-report average was pegged at 89.15 million acres. The 87.6 million acres also means USDA effectively held pat with its Prospective Plantings report. Acreage is 4.52 million acres higher than 2020, which came in at 83.08 million acres.

With estimated harvested acreage for soybeans at 86.7 million acres and yield estimated at 50 bushels an acre, that pegs estimated production for the 2021-22 crop at 4.335 bb.

For wheat acres, USDA reported all-wheat acres at 46.7 million acres, actually on the high end of the pre-report expectations and up 5% from 2020. Still, the acreage comes in as the fourth-lowest wheat planting on record. The pre-report analysts estimate came in at 45.95 million acres. USDA in March had projected acreage would come in at 46.36 million acres. In 2020, wheat farmers planted 44.35 million acres, which was a record low for wheat plantings.

Breaking down wheat acres, winter wheat was at 33.7 million acres, up 11% from 2020. Of this total, 23.6 million acres are hard red winter wheat; 6.59 million acres are soft red winter and 3.5 million acres are white winter. Spring wheat is projected at 11.6 million acres, down 5% from last year. Hard red spring wheat makes up 10.8 million acres while Durum planting is at 1.48 million acres, down 12% from a year ago.

JUNE 1 GRAIN STOCKS

Corn stocks as of June 1 totaled 4.11 bb, 18% lower than at the same time last year and the lowest level in at least seven years. USDA said 1.74 bb were stored on farms, while 2.37 bb were held in off-farm locations. Total usage during the March-to-May period was 3.58 bb, 63 million bushels (mb) more than last year.

The U.S. had 767 mb of soybeans on hand as of June 1, 44% less than at the same time last year. Growers held 220 mb on the farm, while the remainder (547 mb) are stored in off-farm facilities. Usage during the March to May timeframe was 795 mb, 9% less than the same quarter in 2020.

Total stocks of wheat as of June 1, which is also the ending stocks level for the marketing year, were 844 mb, the lowest in six years. On-farm stocks were estimated at 142 mb, with off-farm stocks at 702 mb. USDA said usage from March to May was higher than last year by 21% at 467 mb.

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Editor’s Note: Join DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman at 12 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, June 30, for a look at what the day’s numbers mean for grain prices. To register, visit: https://ag.dtn.com/…

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
6/1/21 Avg High Low 6/1/20 3/1/21
Corn 4,112 4,204 4,650 4,001 5,003 7,701
Soybeans 767 795 952 740 1,382 1,564
Wheat 844 858 965 770 1,028 1,314
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA USDA
6/30/21 Average High Low 3/30/21 2020
Corn 92.70 93.82 95.80 92.00 91.14 90.82
Soybeans 87.60 89.15 90.60 87.90 87.60 83.08
All Wheat 46.70 45.95 46.90 45.00 46.36 44.35
Winter 33.70 33.05 33.30 32.20 33.08 30.42
Spring 11.60 11.44 12.20 10.50 11.74 12.25
Durum 1.48 1.52 1.60 1.40 1.54 1.68