Soybeans saw bearish acres and stocks, corn prices had a friendly acres report and bearish stocks, and wheat was neutral following today’s Planting Intentions Report and Grain Stocks Report.
Market talk about 2017 U.S. corn and soybean acres has been a dominant feature the last two weeks. During that time volume has been on the decrease. Daily price ranges from high to low, has been narrower than normal. Yet, the reality from previous report days suggests grain stocks are the more important number to watch. Grains stocks are a known number while acres are a prediction of what is yet to happen.
Headed into the report traders were looking for bearish grain stocks and bearish acres numbers. Prior to the noon report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans down 6 cents, and wheat was up 1 cent. Shortly after the report corn was up 4 cents, soybeans down 17 cents, with wheat up 2 cents.
Today’s reports can be boiled down to two words, stocks and acres. Yet, in the simplicity of only two words, this day is often coined, “the most important USDA report day for the entire year.” It can also be a pretty volatile day for price action. Why? Big price moves have taken place in the past. December corn had it biggest up move on report day in 2011, up 30 cents. The biggest down day was 2013, down 32 cents. The average change is 10 cents. November soybeans biggest up day on report day was 2009, up 50 cents. The biggest down day was in 2008, down 70 cents. The average change was 20 cents. For perspective, daily price limits are, corn, 25 cents; soybeans, 70 cents, and wheat, 30 cents.
U.S. corn acres in 2017 were estimated to be 89.996 million acres, big surprise. Last year U.S. corn acres were 94 million acres. The average estimate for corn was 90.9 million acres. Soybean acres for 2017 were estimated to be 89.482 million acres. Last year the U.S. soybean acres were 83.4 million acres. The average estimate for soybeans was 88.2 million acres. U.S. wheat acres in 2017 were estimated at 46.059 million acres. Last year the U.S. had 50.15 million acres of wheat. The average trade estimate was 46.13 million acres. It is no surprise corn and wheat acres were down while soybean acres were up. That has been a given conclusion for several months.
US corn stocks on March 1 were estimated at 8.916 billion bushels. Last year corn stocks were 7.82 billion bushels. The average trade estimate was 8.53 billion bushels. US soybean stocks were estimated at 1.735 billion bushels. Last year soybean stocks were 1.53 billion bushels. The average trade estimate was 1.68 billion bushels. US wheat stocks on March 1 were estimated at 1.655 billion bushels. Last year wheat stocks were 1.37 billion bushels. The average trade estimate was 1.62 billion bushels.