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AFBF: Drop in soybean stocks biggest news in report

Due to increased domestic soybean crushings and higher projected exports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced U.S. soybean stocks by 20 million bushels, from 130 million bushels to 110 million bushels. Terry Francl, senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, sees the potential for even lower U.S. soybean stocks due to improved exports.

USDA released its June World Agricultural Supply and Demand estimates (WASDE) June 10, and Francl said the biggest news in the report is the 20 million bushel drop in soybean stocks.

"Many analysts were expecting an even bigger drop in soybean stocks due to strong crushing demand and a robust export picture, but the USDA estimate is pretty much in line with what I expected," Francl said "However, by the time the crop year ends on Aug. 31, I would expect projected soybean exports to increase another 20 million to 30 million bushels."

The latest WASDE report made no adjustment to soybean yields, holding the number at trend line projections.

"This appears to be a similar planting season as last year, where the average U.S. soybean yield came in three bushels below the current trend yield of 42.6 bushels per acre," Francl said.

As expected, USDA reduced the projected new crop corn yield by two bushels per acre, to 153.4 bushels, due to delayed planting in the eastern Corn Belt, Francl said. No adjustments were made to either projected corn or soybean planted acreage for 2009. These adjustments won't be made until USDA publishes 2009 planted acreage on June 30.

"Many market analysts are expecting a 3-million-acre reduction in 2009 corn plantings, with nearly all of that acreage being shifted into soybeans, so concerns about acreage will continue to influence the market until the end of June." Francl said.

The full WASDE report can be accessed here: http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/.

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