U.S. soybean output outpaces stellar demand

WASHINGTON (Reuters) —American soybean growers have what looks like a phenomenal crop about to be harvested with a national yield forecast of an eye popping record 50.6 bushels an acre.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand report Sept. 12 had a soybean yield forecast that was higher than the top end of analysts’ expectation, up 1.7 bushels over the August forecast and up 2.6 bu. from last year.

Top production states Iowa and Illinois led the charge amid near-perfect growing weather during the key development period in August.

The USDA now estimates the soybean crop at 4.2 billion bu.

That topped analysts’ forecasts that ranged from 4.02 billion to 4.16 billion bu. Last year’s crop was 3.93 billion bu.

The November soybean contract fell 1.63 percent the day of the report, knocking down the previous week’s rally that was fueled by strong demand.

With the prospect of more crop to sell, the USDA increased its forecast for domestic soybean crush and exports to new record highs. Nevertheless, it sees year-end stocks growing to 365 million bu., up from 330 million in the August report. Stocks at the end of 2015-16 were revised down to 195 million.

Even with the bigger U.S. crop, the USDA’s forecast of global soybean production for 2016-17 did not increase that much because it trimmed Brazil’s expected production by two million tonnes. The USDA expects Brazilian farmers will lower seeded area as relatively strong corn prices in southern Brazil are expected to increase first-crop corn planting.

The USDA pegged U.S. corn production at 15.093 billion bu., down from its August estimate of 15.153 billion bu. USDA lowered its corn yield view by .7 bu. per acre to 174.4 bu.

The corn futures market had little reaction to that revision.

The USDA’s numbers on wheat did not change significantly.

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