PF Analysis of USDA Intentions, Stocks Data

March 30, 2009 07:00 PM
 

Pro Farmer Editors

** PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS REPORT **

  • CORN: 84.986 million acres; trade expected 84.548 million acres
    -- compares to 85.982 million acres in 2008
  • SOYBEANS: 76.024 million acres; traders expected 79.251 million acres
    -- compares to 75.718 million acres in 2008
  • ALL WHEAT: 58.368 million acres; traders expected 58.856 million acres
    -- compares to 63.147 million acres in 2008
  • OT. SPRING WHEAT: 13.304 mil. acres; traders expected 13.639 mil. acres
    -- compares to 14.135 million acres in 2008
  • DURUM WHEAT: 2.445 million acres; traders expected 2.622 million acres
    -- compares to 2.731 million acres in 2008
  • COTTON: 8.812 million acres; traders expected 8.320 million acres
    -- compares to 9.47 million acres in 2008

Based on growers' planting intentions, corn plantings will be down about 1 million acres from year-ago, but will be 438,000 acres above the average pre-report trade estimate. Given the wide range of pre-report trade estimates on corn plantings, the average pre-report trade guess was exceptionally accurate.

Looking at the state-by-state breakdown, some states are actually expecting to plant more acres to corn than year-ago. Illinois corn plantings are expected up 100,000 acres; Missouri growers are expected to plant 250,000 more acres to corn; and South Dakota is expected to see corn acres up 150,000 from year-ago. Corn acres are expected to be steady with year-ago in Indiana, Nebraska and Ohio. Acreage declines are expected in Iowa (down 100,000 acres), Kansas (down 50,000 acres), Minnesota (down 100,000 acres) and North Dakota (down 250,000 acres).

So, in the major corn-growing states, acres are expected to be about steady with year-ago. The nearly 1-million-acre decline in expected U.S. corn plantings is coming from of the "smaller" corn-acreage states.

Soybean plantings are expected to be up 306,000 from year-ago. That's the trend traders expected, but it is 3.227 million acres below the average pre-report trade estimate. As in corn, the pre-report guess range on soybean plantings was wide, but that's a "big enough" miss from pre- report expectations to very likely provide support for new-crop bean futures. Looking at the state-by-state breakdown on soybeans, acreage increases from year-ago are expected in Arkansas (up 100,000), Iowa (up 100,000), Kansas (up 200,000), Nebraska (up 100,000), North Carolina (up 110,000), North Dakota (up 100,000), and Ohio (up 100,000). Soybean acres are expected to be down in Illinois (down 100,000), Indiana (50,000), Minnesota (50,000) Missouri (150,000) and South Dakota (down 150,000). These states account for all of the increase in expected soybean plantings from year-ago.

All wheat plantings came in down 4.779 million acres from year-ago. That's a slightly bigger hit to all wheat plantings than traders expected. At 58.638 million, USDA Prospective Plantings estimate is 488,000 acres shy of the average pre-report trade estimate. Much of the shortfall in wheat acres was already known in a sharp decline from year-ago in winter wheat seedings.

Spring wheat seedings, however, are also expected to be down 831,000 from 2008. At 13.304 million, spring wheat seedings are expected to be 335,000 acres below the average pre-report trade estimate. Most spring wheat states are expected to see lower-than-year-ago seedings in 2009. North Dakota acres are expected down 200,000; Montana spring wheat acres down 300,000 from year-ago; Minnesota down 100,000 acres; Idaho down 60,000; and South Dakota down 100,000 spring wheat acres from year-ago. The only increase in expected spring wheat seedings is in Washington, up 30,000 from year-ago.

Cotton plantings are expected to be down 658,000 acres from year-ago. While that's a significant drop in plantings, it's still 492,000 acres above the average pre-report trade estimate. All-cotton seedings are expected down in most of the major cotton- growing states. Georgia cotton acres are expected to be steady with year- ago while declines are expected in Texas (down 295,500 from year-ago), Arkansas (down 100,000), Louisiana (down 60,000), Mississippi (down 65,000 acres), North Carolina (down 55,000), Missouri (down 6,000), and Alabama (down 10,000 from year-ago).


** QUARTERLY GRAIN STOCKS REPORT **

  • CORN: 6.958 billion bu.; traders expected 7.003 billion bu.
    -- compares to 10.084 bil. bu. Dec. 1 and 6.859 bil. bu. Mar. 1, 2008
  • SOYBEANS: 1.302 billion bu; traders expected 1.322 billion bu.
    -- compares to 2.276 bil. bu. Dec. 1 and 1.434 bil. bu. Mar. 1, 2008
  • WHEAT: 1.037 million bu.; traders expected 1.062 billion bu.
    -- compares to 1.422 billion bu. Dec. 1 and 709 million bu. Mar. 1, 2008

Corn stocks in all positions as of March 1 are 45 million bu. below the average pre-report trade guess and are up 1% (99 million bu.) from March 1, 2008. On-farm corn stocks are put at 4.09 billion bu., up 8% from year- ago. Off-farm stocks are put at 2.87 billion bu., down 7% from year-ago. Corn Disappearance in the second quarter of the 2008-09 marketing year is put at 3.12 billion bu., 30 million bu. below the usage pace in the same quarter of the 2007-08 marketing year.

Soybean stocks in all positions as of March 1 came in 20 million bu. below the average pre-report trade estimate and down 9% (132 million bu.) from March 1, 2008. On-farm soybean stocks are estimated at 657 million bu., up 11% from year-ago and off-farm stocks are put at 645 million bu., down 23% from year-ago. Disappearance in the second quarter of the 2008-09 marketing year was 974 million bu., up 5% from the same quarter in the 2007-08 marketing year.

All wheat stocks on March 1 came in 25 million bu. below the average pre-report trade guess and are up 46% (328 million bu.) from March 1, 2008. On-farm stocks are estimated at 280 million bu., up 205% from year- ago. Off-farm stocks are put at 756 million bu., up 23% from year-ago. Disappearance in the third quarter of the 2008-09 marketing year is indicated at 386 million bu., 9% behind the usage pace in the same quarter of the 2007-08 marketing year.


** WHAT ARE THE CALLS **

Based on this morning's reports, traders are looking for the lower- than-expected soybean planting intentions estimate to push soybeans up 20 to 30 cents on the open. Stronger-than-expected corn use in the second quarter of the 2008-09 marketing year (along with spillover from soybeans and outside markets) is expected to help corn open 3 to 5 cents higher. Wheat is expected to follow corn and soybeans and open 3 to 5 cents higher.


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