Soybean crop seen at record 3.8 bln bushels on acreage

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, July 11, 2014 - The U.S. soybean crop will total a record 3.8 billion bushels, up 4.5 percent from the month-ago estimate, USDA said today in a monthly report. The department cited an increase in expected harvested acreage, as indicated in a June 30 acreage report. The previous crop came in at 3.289 billion bushels.

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Soybean exports in the marketing year that begins Sept. 1 will reach 1.675 billion bushels, up 50 million bushels from the June forecast, reflecting record U.S. supplies and cheaper prices. Ending stocks are projected at 415 million bushels, up 90 million from the June estimate. If realized, the supply would be the highest in eight years, USDA said. Average cash prices for the marketing year are forecast at $11 a bushel, down from an estimated $13 in the current year.

USDA lowered its forecast for the corn harvest to 13.860 billion bushels, from 13.935 billion projected in July, again based on the June 30 acreage report. The department said the first survey-based forecast for corn, soybeans, cotton and rice will be released on Aug. 12. Analysts are predicting production well over 14 billion bushels, citing excellent growing conditions in many parts of the Corn Belt. Earlier this week, USDA said 75 percent of the crop nationally was in good or excellent condition, the best shape for this stage of development in more than a decade. The forecast for the average farm-gate price for the 2014-2015 crop year was lowered to $4 a bushel, from $4.20 projected in June and an estimated $4.45 in the current year.

Here are some other highlights from today's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and a separate Crop Production report:

-Wheat: Production in the crop year that began June 1 will total 1.992 billion bushels, up from 1.942 billion forecast in June while down from the previous year's output of 2.130 billion bushels. The winter wheat crop is projected at 1.37 billion bushels, down 11 percent from last year, with output in drought-plagued Kansas - the biggest producer -- dropping 26 percent to just over 235 million bushels.

-Rice: The crop is forecast at 226 million hundredweight, up from 213 million projected in June and 189.9 million hundredweight in the previous year. USDA cited increased acreage for the jump. Total supply, including imports and carryover from the previous crop year, is forecast at 279.8 million hundredweight, an increase of more than 30 million hundredweight and the highest in four years.

-Cotton: A crop of 16.5 million bales is forecast, up from 15 million projected in June, based on increased harvested acreage as well as lower expected abandonment because of favorable precipitation and improved crop conditions. The previous year's production, when drought decimated the crop in Texas, the nation's top grower, was 12.91 million bales, each weighing 480 pounds. Cash prices are expected to average 68 cents a pound, a five-year low, USDA said.

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