"The interest in the export projections was generated by the
rapid pace of export sales so far this year, particularly for
soybeans," said University of Illinois agricultural economist
Darrel Good. "Through the first 23 weeks of the marketing year,
soybean exports had already reached 81 percent of the USDA's
January projection of exports for the entire year."
export commitments — shipments plus outstanding sales — as of
Jan. 30 accounted for 106 percent of the January projection.
With year-ending stocks already projected at a very tight 150
million bushels, market participants were eager to see how the
USDA expected to see exports, ending stocks and price
reconciled. For corn, exports through the first 23 weeks of the
marketing year had reached 42 percent of the USDA's January
projection. Corn export commitments as of Jan. 30, however,
stood at 91 percent of the projection.
"While year-ending stocks of corn will be ample, an increase
in the export projection was expected to result in the third
consecutive month of a smaller projection for those stocks and
provide support for old-crop corn prices," Good said.
According to Good, the interest in the South American
production forecasts was generated by late-season weather issues
that included excessive precipitation and flooding in parts of
Argentina and excessive heat and dryness in parts of southern
Brazil. Record-large soybean crops that would help alleviate the
tightness in U.S. supplies during the last half of the 2013-14
marketing year have been expected for both countries. The
projected size of the Brazilian crop was increased last month,
and the projection of year-ending stocks was increased for both
countries. Smaller production projections this month could
result in lower projections of stocks for one or both countries.
Corn production in both countries is expected to be less than
that of last year, particularly in Brazil, but large enough to
maintain an ample level of stocks. The projected size of the
Argentine crop was reduced last month, and the projection of
year-ending stocks was reduced for both countries. Even smaller
crops would point to a further drawdown in those stocks.
Good said that for soybeans, the USDA actually increased the
projection of marketing-year U.S. exports by 15 million bushels,
to a total of 1.51 billion bushels. That would be slightly
larger than the record exports of 2010-11.
"The projection implies that at least 70 million bushels of
outstanding export sales will be canceled or rolled into the
2014-15 marketing year," Good said. "Somewhat surprisingly, the
projection of marketing-year-ending stocks remained at 150
million bushels. The projection of imports was increased by 5
million bushels, and the projection of residual use was reduced
by 10 million bushels, which brings that projection more in line
with the very small residual use of the previous two years," he
[to top of second column]
The soybean production forecast was reduced by
18.5 million bushels for Argentina and increased by 37 million
bushels for Brazil. The projection of year-ending stocks was
increased slightly for Argentina, based on expectations of smaller
domestic consumption and exports and smaller stocks at the start of
the year. The Brazilian export projection was increased by 37
million bushels, and the Chinese import projection was unchanged.
The world projection of year-ending stocks was increased slightly.
"The 2013-14 marketing-year average farm price of soybeans is
expected to be in a range of $11.95 to $13.45, 20 cents higher than
the January projection," Good said. "The unweighted average price
received during the first four months of the marketing year was
For corn, the projection of marketing-year U.S. exports was
increased by 150 million bushels to a total of 1.6 billion bushels,
with the projection of year-ending stocks reduced by a similar
amount. Good said that to reach the projected level, exports will
need to average 33.9 million bushels per week during the last 29
weeks of the year. The average to date has been only 26.5 million
per week. The projection of the Argentine crop was reduced by 39.5
million bushels, but the projection of year-ending stocks was
increased by 20 million bushels due to a larger estimate of
beginning stocks and a smaller export projection. The marketing-year
average U.S. farm price of corn is projected in a range of $4.20 to
$4.80, 10 cents higher than the January projection. The unweighted
average price received during the first four months of the marketing
year was $4.69.
For wheat, the projection of U.S marketing year exports was
increased by 50 million bushels to a total of 1.175 billion bushels.
To reach that level, exports will need to average 21.4 million
bushels per week during the remaining 16 weeks of the year, slightly
less than the average pace to date.
"Taken together, the new projections are negative for soybean
prices, suggesting that the recent rally has stalled at the same
level as the December rally," Good said. "In contrast, the new
projections should provide modest support for old-crop corn prices
and for wheat prices, suggesting that the recent advances will
[Text from file received from the
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and