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US Cash Grains-Corn, soybean basis steady-firm as futures dip

14 November 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week trimmed its forecast of global 2017/18 wheat ending stocks, but the figure, at 267.53 million tonnes, remains at a record high.

Soybean yields are projected at 49.5 bushels per acre, down 2.5 bushels from last year's record. If these consumption and production numbers are realized, the stocks-to-use ratio would climb to the highest level since 2004/05 at 17 percent.

Iowa is projected to have 12.9 million harvested corn acres, and its 197 bushels per acre yield projection would produce just over 2.541 billion bushels after harvesting 2.741 billion bushels in 2016.

2017/18 state corn yields continued to amaze, given the fact that this year's US corn crop did NOT enjoy a ideal growing season with challenges noted throughout the spring and summer in states such as South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and in...all five states ranked in the top six of total state corn producers in the nation. Despite Money Managers already carrying a net corn short in excess of 200,000 contracts (current record Managed Money corn short = 229,176 from 3/8/16) the Bearish fallout from the November 2017 WASDE report was impossible to ignore. Comparatively speaking this November the USDA estimated the 2017/18 US corn yield at 175.4 bpa and USA corn ending stocks at 2.487 billion bushels.

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The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service's forecast for soybean production in Minnesota followed a similar pattern to corn.

The projected 181 bushels per acre corn yield in IN is estimated to produce 944.82 million bushels on 5.22 million acres. The state harvested 946.31 million bushels a year ago. The projection is 36 million bushels larger than a year ago.

Despite record consumption, USDA is projecting the marketing year average soybean price at $9.30 per bushel, down 17 cents from 2016/17. Corn was mostly 1/4 cent lower to 3/4 cent higher. Weekly export inspections have lagged last year's pace as well.

Year-to-date ethanol production, based on weekly production data from the Energy Information Administration, stands at 72 million barrels, up 3.6 percent from the same time in 2016. This pace of corn consumption for ethanol and other uses was confirmed in USDA's November 1, 2017, Grain Crushing and Co-Products Production report. Weekly EIA estimates of ethanol production in October indicated a 3.4% increase over past year. The Prairie State grew 592.95 million bushels in 2016. Similarly, lower consumption volumes could put additional pressure on prices to move even lower.

US Cash Grains-Corn, soybean basis steady-firm as futures dip