USDA expected to cut US corn production forecast again

Soybean production, stocks also expected to drop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to cut the U.S. corn production forecast by another 15.4 percent due to damage from the continuing drought when it releases its latest supply-and-demand report on Aug. 10, according to a Dow Jones Newswires poll of analysts.

The report is likely to forecast corn production of 10.97 billion bushels for 2012, down from its July forecast of 12.97 billion bushels, according to the Dow Jones poll. Production in 2011 was 12.36 billion bushels. Analysts are predicting a corn-crop yield of 126.2 bushels per acre, down 13.6 percent from the USDA’s forecast in July of 146 bushels per acre.

U.S. soybean production estimates will also be cut, by 8.7 percent to 2.79 billion bushels, from the USDA’s last projection of 3.05 billion bushels. Analysts say they expect a soybean yield forecast of 37.2 bushels per acre, down 8.1 percent from a previous forecast of 40.5 bushels per acre.

Due to the production shortfalls, analysts say corn inventories at the end of the 2012–2013 marketing year are likely to be at the lowest level since the 1995–1996 year. Soybean inventories, or ending stocks, will probably be forecast at their lowest since 2003–2004. Analysts expect the USDA to cut its estimate of corn ending stocks for 2012–2013 by 45 percent, to 651 million bushels. Soybean ending-stocks for 2012–2013 will be cut by 11.5 percent, to 115 million bushels.