"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."
Soybean 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
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 said.
[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
"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