By Michele F. Mihaljevich
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USDA’s latest planted acreage and grain stocks reports didn’t appear to immediately impact the market, a couple of analysts said shortly after the numbers were released June 30.
“(The reports) tend to be a key market mover in many years but (they) didn’t have quite the fireworks that previous reports have had on June 30th,” explained Todd Hultman, DTN lead analyst. “We are completing the first half of the calendar year today and that sometimes is a significant event and adds to some volatility in trading at the end of the quarter.”
Seth Miller, originations merchant with The Andersons, based in Maumee, Ohio, called the reports interesting, adding they weren’t “as volatile as some expected in terms of price swings one direction or the other.
“(We’re) not seeing a lot of price reaction one way or the other from the price levels right now with the board but that’s what the USDA gave us to trade on here today,” he said not long after the reports were released.
Corn and wheat were down about 20 cents while soybeans were unchanged during the afternoon of the 30th, Miller noted.
U.S. farmers were expected to plant 89.9 million acres of corn, which is in line with the average pre-report estimate, he said. Last year, 93.4 million acres were planted, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged, compared with last year, in 35 of the 48 estimating states, NASS said.
Soybean acreage, at 88.3 million, was about half a million acres less than the average pre-report estimate, Miller stated. In March, the USDA estimate was 90.9 million, he added. Farmers planted 87.2 million last year, NASS said. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 24 of the 29 estimating states, the agency said.
“We’re going to have another year where corn remains king,” Hultman pointed out. “I thought (earlier) that soybeans had a good chance of overtaking corn in acres this year but that is not to be the case.”
Iowa, at 12.7 million, and Illinois, with 10.7 million, lead the nation in corn planted acreage, NASS said. Illinois is the top state for soybean acreage at 11.2 million, and Iowa is second with 10.3 million.
All wheat acreage, at 47.1 million, is up from 46.7 million last year. If realized, it would be the fifth lowest all wheat planted area since records began in 1919, NASS said.
Hultman said overall planting conditions were considered favorable in most of the Corn Belt. There were some wet areas in the eastern Corn Belt. Parts of eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota had problems with excessive rains, NASS said.
The wet weather delayed planting in the Dakotas and Minnesota, the agency noted. NASS said it would collect updated acreage information in those states in July for such crops as barley, canola, corn, oats, soybeans and spring wheat.
Corn and soybean acreage totaled 178.2 million nationwide, down from last year’s record high of 180.6 million, Hultman said. The decrease suggests there will be some prevented acres in those wetter areas, he noted.
As for grain stocks, corn totaled 4.35 billion bushels as of June 1, up from 4.11 billion a year ago. Soybeans, at 971 million, were up from 769 million last year. Old crop all wheat totaled 660 million, down from 845 million in 2021.
Demand for corn through the first three quarters of the marketing year totaled 12.03 billion bushels, a record high, Hultman said. Corn demand is “obviously benefiting from the lack of competition from Ukraine this year. But as we speak, Brazil is in the midst of its harvest and is expected to have record production this year. So there will be some competition ahead for corn.”
Soybean demand through the first three quarters of the marketing year was 3.74 billion bushels, also a record high, he noted. Hultman attributed the record to drought in South America and a rapid expansion of the renewable diesel industry, which has caused a big increase in soybean oil demand.
Wheat demand for the 2021-22 marketing year was 1.93 billion bushels, the lowest total in 12 years, he said. “The one disappointment was to see such lackluster demand throughout the season,” Hultman stated.