Surprise Could be Lurking in USDA Reports


By Darin Newsom, DTN Senior Analyst

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA on Thursday will release its June planted acreage report, which is based on farmer surveys completed early in the month. But with extensive flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers since that time, traders are likely to look past the number of acres that were planted this spring and instead focus on how many acres will likely be harvested in the fall.

In addition to its acreage report, USDA will also release its quarterly stocks report at 7:30 a.m. CDT Thursday.


Pre-report estimates for corn plantings average 90.77 million acres, up slightly from the JuneWASDE projection of 90.70 ma and well above the 88.19 ma from 2010. While on its own this might be viewed as a bearish number, the reality is declining conditions and lost acres due to flooding will likely trump possible bearishness if the NASS estimate is close.

Pre-report estimates for soybean planted acres averaged 76.53 million, just below the 76.61 ma from the June crop production report and below the 77.4 ma estimated in 2010. As with corn, the key to soybeans will be how many harvested acres may be lost in the Midwest flooding.

All-wheat acres are expected to come in at about 56.67 million, down from the 57.7 estimated in the June crop production report. However, the number remains well above the 53.6 ma estimated in 2010. Talk heading into the report, though, is that the number may not reflect an estimated 6 million-plus of prevented planted spring wheat acres.


Pre-report estimates for corn stocks at the end of May average 3.302 billion bushels, roughly 23.3{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of estimated total 2010-2011 supplies of 14.180 bb. If this pre-report average is realized, it would imply quarterly use of 22.7{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of total supplies, well above the five-year average of 20.5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} for the third quarter. However, such a number would also imply third-quarter demand was 0.2{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} (of total supplies) smaller than last year.

Soybean quarterly stocks are expected to come in at 596 million bushels, indicating quarterly demand of 23.7{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of total beginning supplies (3.495 bb). This is above the five-year average of 20.9{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} for third-quarter demand and up from the 19.9{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} (of total supplies) seen in 2009-2010.

The average pre-report estimate for all-wheat ending stocks is 826 mb. If realized, this estimate would imply fourth-quarter demand of 18.2{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of total supplies last estimated at 3.284 bb. This would be one of the largest (by percent) fourth-quarter demand totals on record, well above the five-year average of 14.5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}.

The bottom line for quarterly stocks is that there is usually a surprise. Pre-report estimates show nothing extraordinary, with the possible exception of wheat, meaning a surprise is most likely lurking somewhere.

Join DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom at 8:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday for a discussion on the USDA acreage and quarterly grain stocks reports. Sign up now at:

Darin Newsom can be reached at


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Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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