The much anticipated quarterly grain stocks and prospective planting reports have now been released and there is a little something for both the bull and the bear, but nothing outrageous in any category. Beginning first with the stock figures; As of March 1st, wheat inventories are estimated at 1.055 billion bushels, which is a touch higher than the average trade estimate of 1.042. The corn figures leaned to the positive side though with a figure of 7.055 billion bushels compared with the average trade estimate of 7.099. This means that the usage for the past quarter was 3.45 billion bushels compared with the same period last year of 2.65. These numbers would seem to jive with the Hog and Pigs report released last Friday and should dispel any ideas that this has not been a demand led rally in the corn market. Soybean stocks were reported at 992.32 million bushels, which is a little more that 3 million above the average trade estimate of 989 million. While not a huge variance from the trade guess, with the tight situation we have, all bushels help and could confirm that the crop was slightly understated.
For acreage, beginning again with wheat, total acreage is projected to be 55.81 million acreage, which is less than 500k less than the average trade estimate of 56.278. Corn acreage leaned just a touch to the friendly side coming in at 91.69 million compared with the average estimate of 92.75 million. It stands to reason that the bean number came in a bit higher than expect and is projected to be 81.49 million compared with the average trade estimate of 81.07.
Realistically, all of the numbers were well within the range of estimates and while we have seen the normal post report volatility nonsense, these should not be major market movers. In my estimation the most friendly number in the group has to be the corn disappearance and the most unfriendly being the soybeans acreage. Let’s keep on perspective, when it comes to acreage for both corn and beans, we have enough to potentially produce very large crops. Now we can all look forward to the supply/demand reports that will be released on the 9th.