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News and USDA Data

A collection/archive of USDA Report data and our post-report comments, as well as featured article by Roach Ag Daily Grain Plan editors and writers.

December 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

US corn and wheat stocks slightly smaller. Bean numbers unchanged.

The market appeared disappointed. The USDA did not make a reduction to the Brazilian crop as traders expected, and the global soybean ending stocks continue to be very large and painting a Big Red Bar on our charts.

Bean prices have been stuck in a downtrend which keeps commodity funds active on the sell side of their order pad. On the other side of the order pad, we continue to hear from Brazilian producers concerned about their soybean crop, while the biggest buyer in the world, China, has been active.

We have Sell Signals in wheat. This is the time to decide if you need to complete your sales. There was little change in the wheat numbers, but the market reaction remains negative. The world continues to make large wheat purchases out of Russia.

This week we had the commodity funds helping the wheat market and prices remain well above the green line 20-day moving average. Commodity funds remain heavily short the wheat markets, we should see more buying from them with prices in an uptrend.

The corn market has moved up above the green line 20-day average this week, but as we are writing these comments, prices are right back down on the green line. Today’s report offered little for either the bull or the bear. This week CONAB reported that Brazilian corn acres would be down by 5.3% due to the late planning of beans.

Meanwhile, we remain in the middle of a South American weather market.


Source: USDA, Bloomberg, StoneX

November 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

Traders react bearish to USDA numbers


The USDA raised their US corn yield estimate by nearly 2 bushels, increasing their estimate from 173.0 to 174.9 bpa from October to November.

The USDA raised the 2023 US corn production to a record 15.234 billion bushels, up from 15.064 billion last month, and the average trade estimate of 15.079 billion.

Corn ending stocks for next fall were estimated at 2.156 billion bushels, up from 2.111 billion last month, and the average trade guess of 2.131 billion bushels.

Corn is in a 4-Box Buy Signal. Livestock producers should be purchasing feed.


The USDA bean yield was also increased, moving to 49.9 bpa from 49.6 bpa last month.

The USDA soybean production estimate was pegged at 4.129 billion bushels, up from 4.104 billion last month.

Soybean carryover increased to 245 million bushels, compared to 220 million bushels last month, and the average trade estimate of 222 million bushels.


US wheat carryout for next July increased to 684 million bushels, compared to 670 million last month and the average trade estimate of 669 million bushels.


These numbers were not enough to change anybody’s opinion about supply and demand. Maybe the corn number increased enough to make a little difference there, but what is much more important is the weather down in Brazil, war in the Black Sea region, and global political uncertainty. 

Right now, we believe the soybean market is up on a peak due to South American weather worries, a big round of Chinese business, and commodity fund buying. We were thankful to get the soybean Selll Signal this week and hope you were able to sell the beans you needed. That being said, we look for higher prices next year on beans, unless the Brazilian weather stages a change for the better.

The wheat prices have been beaten down for weeks because offers out of Ukraine and Russia have been discounted below other world offers. In addition, commodity funds have built large net short positions. Wheat markets are way overdue for a bounce. When wheat prices move solidly above the 20-day moving average, we should get very active fund buying and a boost in price. Or as we saw this week, if ships are attacked, prices rally.  

Source: USDA, Reuters, StoneX

October 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

The USDA cut their US corn and soybean yield estimates slightly more than expected. Corn came in at 173.0 bpa, and beans at 49.6 bpa this month.

US corn and soybean carryout totals were both smaller than trade expected, while the US wheat carryout came in larger than expected.

The global carryout totals for corn, beans, and wheat were all smaller than trade expected.

Prices of corn, beans, and wheat were all trading higher 30 minutes following the reports, with beans seeing the largest gains.

From the USDA

COARSE GRAINS: This month’s 2023/24 U.S. corn outlook is for reduced supplies, lower feed and residual use and exports, and smaller ending stocks. Corn production is forecast at 15.064 billion bushels, down 70 million on a cut in yield to 173.0 bushels per acre.

Corn supplies are forecast at 16.451 billion bushels, a decline of 160 million bushels from last month, with lower production and beginning stocks. Exports are reduced 25 million bushels reflecting smaller supplies and slow early-season demand. Feed and residual use is down 25 million bushels based on lower supply.

With supply falling more than use, corn ending stocks for 2023/24 are lowered 110 million bushels. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised 5 cents to $4.95 per bushel.

The 2023/24 foreign coarse grain outlook is for slightly higher production, larger trade, and greater stocks relative to last month. Foreign corn production is higher on increases for Argentina, Moldova, the EU, and Paraguay.

Foreign corn ending stocks are higher, mostly reflecting increases for Ukraine and Moldova. Global corn stocks, at 312.4 million tons, are down 1.6 million.

Soybeans: US soybean production is forecast at 4.1 billion bushels, down 42 million on lower yields. Harvested area is unchanged at 82.8 million acres. The soybean yield is projected at 49.6 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushels from the September forecast. The largest production changes are for Kansas, Michigan, and Nebraska.

Soybean exports are reduced 35 million bushels to 1.76 billion with increased competition from South America. Soybean crush is projected at 2.3 billion bushels, up 10 million, driven by higher soybean meal exports and soybean oil domestic demand. With lower exports partly offset by increased crush, ending stocks are unchanged from last month at 220 million bushels.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2023/24 is unchanged at $12.90 per bushel. Soybean meal and oil prices are unchanged at $380 per short ton and 63 cents per pound, respectively.

Global 2023/24 soybean exports are lowered 0.2 million tons to 168.2 million with lower exports for the United States partly offset by higher shipments for Brazil. Global soybean crush is increased 0.8 million tons to 328.5 million on higher crush for China and the United States. Global soybean ending stocks are lowered 3.6 million tons to 115.6 million mainly on lower stocks for China, Brazil, and India.

WHEAT: The outlook for 2023/24 U.S. wheat this month is for higher supplies, increased domestic use, unchanged exports, and higher ending stocks.  Supplies are raised 85 million bushels, primarily on higher production as reported in the NASS Small Grains Annual Summary, released September 29.

Domestic use is raised 30 million bushels, all on higher feed and residual use. Exports remain at 700 million bushels with several offsetting by-class changes. Projected ending stocks are raised by 55 million bushels to 670 million, up 15 percent from last year.

The season-average farm price is reduced $0.20 per bushel to $7.30 on higher projected stocks and expectations for futures and cash prices for the remainder of the marketing year.

The global wheat outlook for 2023/24 is for reduced supplies, lower consumption, decreased trade, and lower stocks. Projected 2023/24 global ending stocks are lowered 0.5 million tons to 258.1 million, the lowest since 2015/16.


Source: USDA, Reuters

Source: USDA, StoneX

September 2023 Quarterly Grain Stocks & Small Grains Summary

More bean and wheat stocks than expected, less corn

Corn Stocks

Old crop corn stocks in all positions on September 1, 2023 totaled 1.36 billion bushels, down 1 percent from September 1, 2022. Of the total stocks, 605 million bushels are stored on farms, up 19 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 756 million bushels, are down 13 percent from a year ago.

The June - August 2023 indicated disappearance is 2.75 billion bushels, compared with 2.97 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Bean Stocks

Old crop soybeans stored in all positions on September 1, 2023 totaled 268 million bushels, down 2 percent from September 1, 2022. Soybean stocks stored on farms totaled 72.0 million bushels, up 14 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 196 million bushels, are down 7 percent from last September. Indicated disappearance for June - August 2023 totaled 528 million bushels, down 24 percent from the same period a year earlier.


Corn prices were down 7-8 cents following the reports, while beans and wheat both quickly dropped 20 cents. Corn was no longer in a Sell Signal once prices were down more than a couple cents. KC and Minneapolis wheat remain in Buy Signals, and Chicago wheat will likely join then on Monday unless prices recover by the end of the day.

We remain concerned about the bean market and see multiple factors continuing to pressure price lower:

  1. The spec funds continue to liquidate their long positions. If the trend remains down, that will remain their normal pattern. The 26 million bushel larger than expected Stocks total today only accelerates this downward trend. If you are trend follower, it is hard to be long in this bean market.
  2. The fundamental risk is there is an abundance of global soybean supply. We are heading towards world ending stocks for soybeans being ample to burdensome. Sellers in South America will discount their prices to get their record productions sold and leave US sellers holding the bag.
  3. Our shipping costs are increasing. Low levels on both the Mississippi River and Panama Canal and driving US export costs higher.
  4. Rapidly advancing US harvest continues to exert pressure.
  5. Increasing political tension between US and China. If you want an indication of how that relationship is faring this week, China just said they want their panda bears back and they will no longer allow US zoos to display pandas.

Small Grains Summary

The big surprise from the USDA was a sharp increase in their 2023 US wheat production estimate. They increased their estimate by 78 million bushels to 1.812 million bushels, when trade expected a 5 million bushel decrease. Production estimates for all classes of wheat except White wheat exceeded trade expectations.

Source: USDA, Bloomberg, StoneX

Forecast for Beef, Pork production lowered by USDA

The USDA trimmed its projections for beef and pork production in the monthly WASDE report released Tuesday.

The contraction of the U.S. cattle herd during the recent drought appeared to be confirmed as the USDA projected beef production for the full year at 27,009 million pounds compared to 28,359 million pounds in full-year 2022; last month’s projection was modestly higher at 27,049 million pounds.

Beginning stocks were unchanged from last month’s tally at 723 million pounds and solidly above the 676 million pounds in 2022. Prices for 2023 were pegged at $178.50 per center weight ton, unchanged from last month, but projected to jump in Q4 to $190/cwt.

Drought and searing temperatures, particularly in the Southwest, this year reportedly pushed more and lighter-weight cattle into the packing chain as pastures withered and feed costs surged. Cattle numbers are expected to remain low this year; the next Cattle on Feed Report is still more than a week away.

Drought remains prevalent in much of the Plains and the west side of the Corn Belt, and there are concerns among analysts that tight supplies of beef and overall inflation could push consumers away from higher-end cuts, or even cause them to lose their taste for beef altogether.

On the pork side, the WASDE numbers pegged pork production for the year at 27,174 million pounds, slightly down from 27,279 million pounds in the August report. Projections for 2024 were unchanged at 27,350 million pounds, which would be closer to last year’s production of 27,011 million pounds.

The export market is expected to hold up in the coming months, which should provide some welcome support for pork prices, although the firm dollar could stir up some headwinds. The WASDE report lowered its export projections for the year to 6,801 million pounds. Projections for 2024 were taken down modestly from 6,980 million pounds in August to 6,900 million pounds.


September 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

Corn production larger, beans and wheat as traders expected

The USDA found more corn and bean acres in their September report. Corn plantings were increased by 774,000 acres and bean plantings by 95,000 acres. The average corn yield was pulled down 1.3 bpa to 173.8 bpa and the soybean yield was 0.8 bpa lower at 50.1 bpa. Both yield estimates were in line with trade expectations.

The net result was an increase in corn production of 23 million bushels to 15.134 billion bushels. If they are correct, it would be a record corn crop by 60 million bushels. Bean production was estimated at 4.146 billion bushels, a decrease of 59 bushels from the August estimate. This would be a large bean production but well below record level.

US corn usage estimates were unchanged this month. All US supply demand numbers for wheat were left unchanged this month.

The soybean crush forecast is reduced 10 million bushels and the export forecast is reduced 35 million bushels on lower supplies. Ending stocks are projected at 220 million bushels, down 25 million from last month.

The USDA did not reduce the 2023-24 world soybean ending stocks enough to make us feel comfortable. The graph below shows today’s USDA world soybean stocks estimate compared to history. Unless something changes, we need to make sure we wrap up soybean sales during Brazil’s growing season.

Wheat was the only market today able to overcome active selling activity. After setting a new low for this move, prices bounced higher on the day in all three types of wheat. Traders may have been reacting to the USDA slightly tightening world wheat stocks, but we think it is more. 

As you know, we only get so many days of Buy Signals before markets turn around. Today was Day 26 of the Chicago wheat Buy Signal. Prices have dropped sharply during this period. We think that is about enough.



Source: USDA

Source: USDA, Bloomberg



August 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

USDA Report Summary

USDA delivers positive corn and bean numbers in Friday’s reports to go along with Roach Ag Buy Signals

The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 175.1 bushels per acre, is 2.4 bushels lower than last month’s projection. Today’s Crop Production report indicates that among the major producing States, yields are forecast above a year ago in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota. Yields in Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri are forecast below a year ago.

Corn production for 2023-24 is forecast at 15.1 billion bushels, down 209 million from the July projection, but if realized, would still be the second highest production on record behind 2016-17.

The first survey-based soybean yield forecast of 50.9 bushels per acre is reduced 1.1 bushels from last month. Soybean supplies for 2023-24 are projected at 4.5 billion bushels, down 2% from last year.

The UDSA forecast soybean exports would be down 25 million bushels. They left crush unchanged, pegging ending stocks at 245 million bushels, down 55 million from last month and 22 million below the average trade estimate.

The USDA data was not enough to push prices outside (during the first 15 minutes of post-report trade) of the trading range that they have been in since the first of August.

The Brazilian corn crop continues to grow. The USDA increased their estimate by 2 million tons to 135.0 million tons, well above the latest CONAB estimate of 130.0 million tons. 

US wheat production numbers were little changed from July and wheat prices tested recent lows after the USDA numbers were released.

Source: USDA, Bloomberg

July 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

USDA lowered US corn yield estimate but left beans unchanged

The USDA lowered their US corn yield estimate from 181.5 to 177.5 bushels per acre this month, while they left their US bean yield estimate unchanged at 52.0 bpa. Trade was expecting lower yield estimates for both (176.6 & 51.4 bpa, respectively). This put their 2023 production estimates above trade expectations.

The USDA estimates for next year’s carryout (2023-24) were larger than trade expected for corn, beans, and wheat. Of note, their 2023-24 soybean carryout estimate was 300 million bushels, 50% above the 199 million bushel average trade estimate.

Soybean prices dropped 40 cents lower on the larger than expected bean carryout.

In South America, the USDA offset changes in corn production by lowering their Argentine estimate 1 million tons at the same time they increased their Brazilian corn production estimate 1 million tons. They left their South American soybean production estimates unchanged from last month. 

Total wheat 2023-24 wheat production was larger than trade expected. The USDA increased their total wheat production estimate by 74 million bushels to 1.739 billion bushels. Trade was expecting a smaller increase to just 1.683 billion bushels.

From the WASDE report


This month’s 2023/24 U.S. corn outlook is for fractionally higher supplies and ending stocks. Corn beginning stocks are lowered 50 million bushels, as greater feed and residual use for 2022/23 more than offsets reductions in corn used for ethanol and exports. Corn production for 2023/24 is forecast up 55 million bushels as greater planted and harvested area from the June 30 Acreage report is partially offset by a 4.0-bushel reduction in yield to 177.5 bushels per acre.

According to data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, harvested-area-weighted June precipitation data for the major Corn Belt states represented an extreme downward deviation from average. However, timely rainfall and cooler than normal temperatures for some of the driest parts of the Corn Belt during early July is expected to moderate the impact of June weather. For much of the crop the critical pollination period will be in the coming weeks. With supply rising fractionally and use unchanged, ending stocks are up 5 million bushels. The season-average farm price received by producers is unchanged at $4.80 per bushel.


U.S. oilseed production for 2023/24 is projected at 127.6 million tons, down 5.6 million from last month with reductions for soybeans and sunflower seed, partly offset by higher canola and peanuts. Soybean production is projected at 4.3 billion bushels, down 210 million on lower harvested area. Harvested area, forecast at 83.5 million acres in the June 30 Acreage report, is down 4.0 million from last month. The soybean yield forecast is unchanged at 52.0 bushels per acre. With lower production partly offset by higher beginning stocks, 2023/24 soybean supplies are reduced 185 million bushels.

Soybean crush is reduced 10 million bushels reflecting a lower soybean meal domestic disappearance forecast. Soybean exports are reduced 125 million bushels to 1.85 billion on lower U.S. supplies and lower global imports. With lower supplies only partly offset by reduced use, ending stocks for 2023/24 are projected at 300 million bushels, down 50 million from last month. The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2023/24 is forecast at $12.40 per bushel, up $0.30 from last month. The soybean meal price is projected at $375.00 per short ton, up $10.00. The soybean oil price forecast of 60.0 cents per pound is up 2 cents.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final renewable fuels standards rule for 2023, 2024, and 2025. The 2023 biomass-based diesel volume mandate was unchanged from the proposal published last December. For 2024, EPA increased the non-cellulosic advanced biofuel volume mandate but lowered the implied conventional volume. USDA assumes that biomass-based diesel would be produced in excess of the advanced biofuel volume mandate to make up the shortfall in conventional renewable fuel to meet the total renewable fuel obligation. With the offsetting changes compared to the proposal in 2024, there is no change to soybean oil used for biofuel for 2023/24 this month.


Changes this month to the 2023/24 U.S. wheat outlook increase supplies and domestic use, leave exports unchanged, and increase ending stocks. Supplies are raised on larger production, which is up 74 million bushels to 1,739 million, on higher harvested area and yields. The first 2023/24 survey-based production forecast for other spring and Durum indicates a decrease from last year. Conversely, winter wheat production is forecast higher on larger harvested area and higher yields. Gains for all wheat production are partly offset by smaller beginning stocks, which are lowered 18 million bushels to 580 million as indicated in the Grain Stocks report, issued June 30. The 2023/24 ending stocks are forecast at 592 million bushels, 30 million higher than last month. The projected season-average farm price is forecast at $7.50 per bushel, down $0.20 from last month.

This month provides the first by-class 2023/24 U.S. wheat supply and use projections. Two consecutive years of drought-affected Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat crops reduce HRW ending stocks to the lowest level in 16 years despite decreased total use. HRW food use is forecast to be the smallest since 2010/11, while HRW exports are the lowest since by-class supply and utilization records began in 1973/74.

Source: USDA/Reuters/StoneX

June 2023 Acreage & Quarterly Grain Stocks

Bean plantings fell well short of expectations, while corn plantings exceeded expectations.

The biggest surprise in the USDA numbers came in soybean plantings. The USDA June planted acreage for beans came in 83.505 million acres, compared to the average trade guess of 87.673 million acres. The USDA bean acreage estimate fell 3.5 million acres below the lowest pre-report guess of 87 million acres.

Corn acres were above the high of the pre-report estimates at 94.096 million acres. The high of the estimate range was 93 million acres. The average trade estimate of 91.853 million acres. 

An interesting trend in the data is that total principal crop planted acres in the western states ran above their previous estimates, while crops planted in the “I-states” were down from 0.75 – 1.1% from the prior estimates.

The bigger corn acreage number indicates farmers were happy with their corn planting conditions and kept on planting.

Corn stocks were down about 150 million bushels from the average trade guess. Bean stocks and wheat stocks were just slightly smaller than expected.

Source: USDA/Reuters/StoneX

June 2023 USDA Supply & Demand

Ho Hum USDA numbers keep weather as the main market focus.

 Sunday night’s opening will be a reflection of next week’s weather forecast. All of the fundamentals given to us by the USDA today will fade by comparison. So far, prices haven’t changed much since the reports were released.


The 2023-24 U.S. corn outlook is little changed from last month with increases to both beginning and ending stocks. Corn area and yield forecasts are unchanged.

Beginning stocks are up 35 million bushels reflecting a forecast decline in exports for 2022-23 that is partly offset by lower imports. Exports were lowered 50 million bushels. With no supply or use changes for 2023-24, ending stocks are raised 35 million bushels. The season-average farm price received by producers is unchanged at $4.80 per bushel.

The USDA cut their Argentine corn production estimate 2 million tons and raised their Brazilian estimate 2 million tons, canceling out the change in South America this month.


This month’s U.S. soybean supply and use projections for 2023-24 include higher beginning and ending stocks. Higher beginning stocks reflect reduced exports for 2022-23, down 15 million bushels to 2.0 billion based on lower-than-expected shipments in May and competition from South America.

With increased supplies for 2023-24 and no use changes, soybean ending stocks are projected at 350 million bushels, up 15 million. The soybean price is forecast at $12.10 per bushel, unchanged from last month.

The USDA also cut their Argentine bean production estimate 2 million tons, while increasing their Brazilian estimate by 1 million tons.


Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.14 billion bushels, up 1% from the May 1 forecast and up 3% from 2022. As of June 1, the United States yield is forecast at 44.9 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from last month but down 2.1 bushels from last year’s average yield of 47.0 bushels per acre. Hard Red Winter production, at 525 million bushels, is up 2% last month.

The outlook for 2023-24 U.S. wheat this month is for larger supplies, unchanged domestic use and exports, and higher stocks. Supplies are raised as all wheat production is projected at 1,665 million bushels, up 6 million from last month on higher

Hard Red Winter production more than offsetting reductions in Soft Red Winter and White Winter. The all wheat yield is 44.9 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushels from last month but remaining below last year. Total use is unchanged with all of the production increase added to ending stocks, now projected at 562 million bushels.

The 2023-24 season-average farm price is lowered $0.30 per bushel to $7.70 on larger U.S. and foreign wheat supplies.

Source: USDA, Bloomberg



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