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Strong U.S. exports trim ending stocks forecast

The United States is exporting more corn and wheat than it expected, so it had to trim its expected year-end stocks in the U.S. Department of Agricultural monthly report issued Feb. 10.

Canadian farmers, with record amounts of undelivered grain be-cause of an overwhelmed rail system, grit their teeth in envy and frustration. But they can take heart that at least the global supply-demand outlook in wheat and corn is tightening.

Domestic corn stocks-to-use at the end of 2013-14 are now expected to be 11.1 percent, the USDA said, down from 12.4 percent forecast in January and 13.7 percent in December.

The global corn ending stock number was cut to 157.3 million tonnes from 160.23 million in January.

Global wheat ending stocks were pegged at 183.73 million tonnes, down from 185.4 million.

The USDA left its domestic soybean year-end stocks unchanged but tight at 150 million bushels and increased the global carryout slightly.

The USDA raised its forecast for Brazil’s soy crop by one million tonnes to 90 million, making it the world’s largest producer this year, edging out the U.S.

It trimmed Argentina’s crop by 500,000 tonnes to 54 million tonnes.

However, the forecast for Brazil might be trimmed in the future.

It has been dry and hot in southern Brazil. While early harvest in the biggest producing state, Mato Grosso in central Brazil, is showing record yields, the weather is stressing later planted crops in southern states.

Twelve percent of Brazil’s crop had been harvested as of Feb. 7, and rain was expected late this week.

It will be a few more weeks before the industry knows if the problems in the south will outweigh the good results in Mato Grosso, but at this late stage a huge reduction is unlikely.

The tighter wheat stocks in the USDA report extended the wheat rally.

Deteriorating winter crop conditions triggered the rally. It has suffered repeated bouts of severe cold and dryness through its dormancy.

The Hays Post of Hays, Kansas, reported that constant wind and lack of snow cover has turned the crop bluish brown in Western Kansas, but other areas of Kansas received welcome snow last week.

Winter wheat’s troubles supported the Minneapolis spring wheat futures contract. The old crop March was also supported by speculation that Canada’s transportation problems will send more business to the U.S.

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