USDA cut its forecasts for soybean exports for the current marketing year to 1.9 billion bushels, down 160 million bushels from the October projection, citing lower imports from China, which is engaged in tit-for-tar tariff war with the U.S.

“Although sales to China are minimal, strong sales to other markets are expected to continue, which is likely to result in a larger share of U.S. exports in the second half of the marketing year,” USDA said today in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, better known as the WASDE.

U.S. soybean production is pegged at 4.6 billion bushels, down 90 million bushels from the month-ago forecast, but up 4 percent from last year. The U.S. season-average soybean price range is forecast at $7.60 to $9.60 per bushel, unchanged at the midpoint.

Corn production is forecast at 14.626 billion bushels, 152 million bushels lower than last month on a reduced yield forecast. The national average yield is now projected at 178.9 bushels per harvested acre, down from the previous estimate of 180.7. If realized, the yield will still be the highest on record and production the second highest. Projected exports are down slightly, at 2.45 billion bushels, from 2.475 billion. The season-average corn price received by producers is raised 10 cents to a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel.

Some other highlights from today’s report:

WHEAT: All-wheat production is forecast at 1.884 billion bushels, unchanged from last month. Supplies from the 2018/19 U.S. wheat crop are unchanged this month, and total use is raised 7 million bushels on higher seed use that reflects increased projected 2019/20 wheat planted area.

COTTON: Production is reduced 1.35 million bales, to 18.41 million, due mainly to decreases in the Southeast, reflecting the impact of adverse weather. The report also forecasts lower consumption, exports and ending stocks. A separate Crop Production report pointed out that nearly one-half (46 percent) of Georgia’s cotton crop, which was just one-fifth harvested when Michael hit, was rated in very poor to poor condition as of Oct. 28, up from a pre-storm value of 9 percent.

RICE: USDA is projecting slightly lower production of 218.3 million hundredweight (cwt), with California accounting for the entire reduction. The average all-rice yield is reduced 17 pounds to 7,522 pounds per acre.

LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND DAIRY: The forecast for 2018 total red meat and poultry production is lowered from last month as lower beef, pork, and turkey production more than offsets higher broiler output.

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Note that this month’s China supply-and-demand estimates for corn, peanuts, rapeseed, rice, soybeans, and wheat incorporate historical revisions to area and production published by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics and released late last year. The revisions are based on the results of China’s Third National Agricultural Census.

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