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Producers are dealing with large 
supplies of corn, soybeans, wheat
By Michele F. Mihaljevich
Indiana Correspondent

MCHENRY, Ill. – The U.S. is dealing with large supplies of corn, soybeans and wheat, and producers will be looking for domestic and export opportunities for their commodities, according to Allendale, Inc., analysts.
The analysts spoke Jan. 23 during Allendale’s annual AgLeader Winter Conference Series.
In the Jan. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, USDA projected corn ending stocks for the 2023-2024 year to be 2.16 billion bushels, up from the December estimate of 2.13 billion. For the 2022-2023 year, ending stocks were 1.36 billion.
For 2024, Allendale is projecting corn ending stocks of 2.24-2.5 billion, depending on the size of this year’s crop.
“We know we’ve got some larger numbers right now,” Steve Georgy, Allendale president, said in regard to corn supplies. “We know USDA just gave us some numbers on that January report that were bigger than what the trade was expecting. I think a lot of the trade was expecting to see some kind of slighter decline for carryout numbers. We just didn’t see it.”
As for the more than 2 billion carryout, he said, “that’s a lot. So what do we do with that number? How does that look?”
Soybean ending stocks are expected to increase, as USDA has projected 280 million bushels for 2023-2024. That number is up from the December projection of 245 million, and above the 264 million estimate for 2022-2023.
Depending on soybean production in 2024, Allendale has projected ending stocks of 275-358 million bushels.
Worldwide, soybean demand continues to increase, said Greg McBride, director of brokerage for Allendale. Over the past 10 years, annual world demand growth averaged 3.3 percent, he said. In the past five years, annual world demand growth averaged 2.1 percent.
“If we continue to grow it, we’re going to continue to find uses for it, whether that’s through feed use or through biodiesel or renewable diesel, as we move forward,” McBride said.
Soybean crush continues to be at record levels and at accelerated levels, he said. Current crop crush is exceeding USDA’s whole-year goal by 5.8 percent. McBride said he expects USDA to adjust its goal higher as the year goes on.
Ending stocks for wheat were estimated by USDA at 648 million bushels for 2023-2024, down from the December projection of 659 million, but more than the 570 million for 2022-2023.
Wheat ending stocks could be 598-797 million, depending on crop size, according to Allendale.
Demand has been weaker for wheat, and there currently is a lot of supply, said Ben Breisch, an Allendale broker.
The largest demand for U.S. wheat is the domestic food market, he said. The category changes very little on a year-to-year basis, Breisch added. The top buyers of U.S. wheat in 2022-2023 were Mexico, Japan, Philippines, South Korea and China.
For corn, Allendale expects exports, and feed and residual use, to increase in 2024.
“We know what the supply side looks like,” Georgy said. “We see what that is and we know we have plenty of corn. Not only domestically, but globally, we are not tight.”
The U.S. EPA has said general gasoline demand could decline year over year for the next 10-15 years as the use of electric cars ramps up, he said.
Ethanol is the second largest use for U.S. corn, Georgy said. “Do we continue to use it for fuel? Do we find other ways in order to use it for fuel?” he asked.
Allendale expects 3.1 million acres of soybeans to be added in 2024 to what was planted last year, bringing total planted acreage to 86.7 million, McBride said.
“We see this on a regular basis, and this is kind of my own opinion on this thing, but a lot of times we go into every year expecting to plant more soybeans and it almost never happens,” he stated. “We’ve seen it a few times where we’ve started off strong, at least the USDA believes we’re going to plant a lot more, and we do see increases in some year over year fashion. A lot of times what ends up happening is just the weather sets up or whatever to plant more corn, and we do tend to plant a little more corn than expected.”
Soybean crush demand is forecast to increase in 2024 over last year, as will total domestic usage, he said. Exports are also forecast to go up.
In the WASDE report, USDA projected the average farm price for corn at $4.80 a bushel for 2023-2024, down from $6.54 for 2022-2023. The average farm price for soybeans was $12.75, down from $14.20. For wheat, the average farm price was $7.20, down from $8.83.