USDA: Worldwide crop yields up

Record US corn production expected

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s August 12 report on agricultural supply and demand for the 2014-15 marketing year suggests supplies will continue to be on the tight side for key U.S. crops despite record harvests, the American Farm Bureau Federation said.

“The most interesting feature of today’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report is the projected corn yield of 167.4 bushels per acre,” Farm Bureau Deputy Chief Economist John Anderson said. “That is up from 165.3 bushels per acre a month ago, which pushes projected U.S. corn production to just over 14 billion bushels. That’s a record.”

Increases in projected corn use largely offset the higher production, leaving stocks projections almost flat at just 7 million bushels above last month’s estimate, Anderson said.

Prices are expected to trend upwards even so, since earlier forecasts had put production at about 170 bushels per acre. “Projected corn production of 14.032 billion bushels is still massive, but it is probably about 200 million bushels below what the market had expected,” he said.

The bullish U.S. corn numbers were offset by less favorable world numbers for feed grains and wheat. Global feed grain production estimates, for example, rose by 4.9 million metric tons over last month due not just to higher U.S. production, but higher EU corn production and higher barley production in the former Soviet zone, too. Projected global feed grain carryover for 2014-15 rose 2.7 million metric tons month over month.

Projected global wheat production, meanwhile, rose 10.9 million metric tons to an expected record 716.1 million metric tons. Carryover is expected to rise 3.4 million metric tons as a result.

Soybeans held few surprises as the WASDE yield estimate rose 0.2 bushels to 54.2 bushels per acre. The slight increase in production went straight into carryover, raising projected carryover to 430 million bushels.