CHICAGO (Reuters) – Soybean and corn production in the United States will be higher than expected, the US government said in a report released on Tuesday.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the corn crop being harvested at 15.019 billion bushels and the soybean crop at 4.448 billion bushels, as per monthly analysis.
The agency also forecasted corn yields at 176.5 bushels per acre and soybeans at 51.5 bushels per acre.
Larger-than-expected harvests could ease concerns about food inflation around the world and will be welcomed by meatpackers concerned about the high costs of grains used primarily for animal feed.
Analysts had expected the report to show a corn crop of 14.973 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 176.0 bushels per acre. The average estimate for the oilseed crop was 4.415 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 51.1 bushels per acre.
Last month, the USDA forecast a corn crop of 14.996 billion bushels and soybean production at 4.374 billion bushels.
After the release, the most active soybean futures contracts reached their lowest price since December.
“People weren’t looking for a report that was so bearish, and it’s mostly bearish because of the soybean yield,” said Jack Scoville, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “That’s what caused the market to collapse.”
For Brazil, the USDA maintained its 2021/22 crop projections, with soybeans estimated at 144 million tons and corn at 118 million.
The USDA raised its US soybean inventories outlook to 320 million bushels from 185 million in September.
For wheat, the ending stocks of the cereal in the world in 2021/22 were at 277.18 million tons, outside analysts’ expectations, but reflecting the drought in the north of the US and Canada that affected production.
The agency said wheat stocks were at their lowest in five years, with the United States, Australia and Iran accounting for most of the decline.
Corn inventories will also be higher than previously forecast, as the USDA raises its outlook for 2021/22 reserves from 1.408 billion to 1.5 billion bushels.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek, Mark Weinraub and PJ Huffstutter in Chicago)
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