-USDA new crop ending stocks estimates higher than expected corn/lower soybeans
-China sees larger fall armyworm impact this year
-Trump administration has long-term higher ethanol blending goals in mind
-Brazil Feb soybean exports seen smashing previous record
-Export Sales solid corn/disappointing soybeans, wheat
USDA estimated 2020/21 U.S. corn ending stocks at 2.637 billion bushels vs this year’s 1.892 billion in this morning’s balance sheet release at the annual Ag Outlook Forum. New crop soybean ending stocks were put at 320 million bushels vs this year’s 424 million, with 2020/21 wheat ending stocks at 777 million bushels vs this year’s estimated 940 million. The corn stocks estimate was higher than what we feel was overall market expectations, while soybean stocks were on the low side. We feel there is room for moderation in both estimates based on our acreage and demand ideas, which we discuss in our Market Insights post at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/39072. We also posted the full USDA grain/oilseed outlook numbers, along with our new crop balance sheet ideas on Market Insights at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/39068.
China said they see corn area potentially impacted by fall armyworms in the 2020/21 being around 6.7 million hectares (16.6 mil acres), representing roughly 16% of their total corn area. If accurate, this would reflect a considerable increase from last year in which more than 1 million hectares was impacted.
Broad stroke, big picture goals of the Trump administration for biofuels to account for 30% of transportation fuels by 2050 were reported by USDA yesterday. The goal included getting the nationwide ethanol blending rating to 15% by 2030 vs the current 10% mandate. Anything along these lines is likely to be a very contentious battle between ag and energy interests moving forward.
CONAB said Brazilian soybean exports in February could reach 9 MMT, massively above last year’s current Feb export record of 5.3 MMT.
South Korea bought 135k tonnes of optional-origin corn at $210.25-$211.25/tonne c&f for June arrival. This tender included the usual move of requesting offers specifically for corn not sourced from the U.S. PNW amid concerns of low quality supplies as corn from the upper Midwest/Dakotas is typically supplied to PNW ports.
Please see our Market Insights post at https://portal.rjobrien.com/MarketInsights/Blog/Read/39073 details on the USDA Export Sales report.
U.S. corn sales were solid at 1.249 MMT (49.2 million bushels), up from the previous week’s 38.0 million bushels, above market expectations of 700k-1.1 MMT and in line with the prior two weeks’ sales of 49.2 and 48.6 mil bu, respectively.
U.S. soybean sales last week of 494k tonnes (18.2 mil bu) were below market expectations of 600k-1.2 MMT and were the 2nd lowest of the last six weeks. Chinese activity was nearly non-existent, reflecting an increase in commitments of just 11.5k tonnes for the week.
U.S. wheat sales were disappointing at 346k tonnes (12.7 mil bu), below market expectations of 400-650k tonnes, down from the previous week’s 23.6 million and were the 2nd lowest of the last six weeks.
U.S. soybean meal sales last week of 169k tonnes were a bit below market expectations of 200-400k tonnes, but were still better than the roughly 121k tonnes/week “needed” sales pace to reach the USDA’s export projection. Soybean oil sales were solid at 42k tonnes, at the top end of expectations of 15-45k and keeping pace with recent activity in which sales have averaged 42.5k tonnes/week over the last six weeks.