Lowest U.S. Wheat Production Since 2002


WASHINGTON (DTN) — Old-crop (2016-17) corn ending stocks have swelled to a 30-year record of 2.295 billion bushels, according to estimates published in USDA's quarterly Grain Stocks report Friday. While up 32{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year, that number actually came in below pre-report analyst expectations.

At 301 million bushels, old-crop soybean endings stocks also came in well below pre-report estimates. Only wheat ending stocks, pegged at 2.253 billion bushels, came in near analysts' expectations.

These numbers are USDA's estimates of grain supplies as of Sept. 1, which marks the end of the marketing year for the 2016-17 crop.

USDA also released its Small Grains Summary Friday, with the latest estimates of the 2017 wheat crop, which was pegged at 1.741 billion bushels.

USDA's Grain Stocks estimates were neutral for corn and wheat and bullish for soybeans, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. USDA's wheat production estimates were neutral overall for wheat prices, but could be considered bearish for spring wheat prices, he said.


At 2.295 billion bushels as of Sept. 1, USDA believes old-crop corn stocks to be the country's largest since the 1987-88 crop year, when they swelled to 4.259 billion bushels.

Nonetheless, the 2.295-bb figure is actually a reduction from USDA's estimate in the Sept. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report, which pegged ending stocks at 2.35 billion bushels.

Of the total corn stocks, USDA estimated that 787 million are stored on farms, a 25{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} increase from last year. Off-farm stocks were pegged at 1.51 billion bushels, a 36{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} jump from last year.

USDA reported that the June-to-August “disappearance,” or usage, of grain stocks was 2.93 billion bushels, just down from 2.97 billion bushels during the same period last year.


USDA's estimate of 301 million bushels of soybean stocks stored on Sept. 1 represents a 53{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} increase from last year. It is also a sizeable reduction from USDA's Sept. 12 WASDE estimate of 345 million bushels in ending stocks.

Of the total stocks, USDA estimated that 87.9 million bushels were stored on farms, up 112{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year. They pegged off-farm storage at 213 million bushels, up 38{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year.

June-to-August usage of soybean stocks was pegged at 665 million bushels, down 2{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year during the same period.

In this report, USDA also revised its 2016 soybean production estimate down 10.6 million bushels to 4.296 billion bushels, and trimmed its previous 2016 soybean yield estimate 0.1 bushel to 52 bushels per acre. The agency stated that the revised figures were the result of “an analysis of end-of-marketing-year stock estimates, disappearance data for exports and crushing, and farm program administrative data.”


As of Sept 1., wheat ending stocks totaled 2.253 billion bushels, down 11{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year.

Of those total stocks, USDA estimated that 489 million bushels are stored on farms, down 33{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year, and 1.76 billion bushels are stored off farms, down just 3{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year. The agency pegged June-to-August usage at 668 million bushels, down 10{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from the same period last year.

All-wheat production in 2017 fell to 1.741 billion bushels, the lowest crop on record since 2002, when farmers produced 1.606 billion bushels. That marks a 25{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} drop from the last year's total production of 2.31 billion bushels, although the estimate was slightly above USDA's Sept. 12 WASDE production estimate of 1.739 billion bushels.

Winter wheat production in 2017 was pegged at 1.269 billion bushels, down 24{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year, and also below USDA's Sept. 12 WASDE estimate of 1.324 billion bushels.

Spring wheat production was also trimmed to 416 million bushels, which came in at the high end of pre-report expectations, but remains a 22{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} decrease from last year. It marks the smallest spring wheat crop since the 388-million-bushel crop of 2002.

Durum production was pegged at 55 million bushels, down 47{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year.


Old-crop sorghum stocks as of Sept. 1 were pegged at 34 million bushels, which came in above pre-report expectations and was 5 million bushels above the agency's Sept. 12 WASDE estimate of 29 million bushels in ending stocks.

Of the total stocks, USDA reported that 4.28 million bushels were stored on farms, up 14{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year, and 29.3 million bushels were stored off farms, down 11{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from last year.

June-to-August usage was pegged at 51.2 million bushels, down 5{a169222e5c003bec48f63dd57bc39383f42c8e994ade26e015ce9d78e5f0b614} from the same period last year.

 Source: DTN

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