There were few major surprises in the last WASDE report of 2018, released Tuesday, with estimates of corn production and soybean production unchanged from November. Corn output was put at 14.626 billion bushels and the soybean harvest at 4.6 billion bushels, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Projected all-wheat output was also unchanged at 1.884 billion bushels. Corn used to produce ethanol was reduced 50 million bushels to 5.6 billion bushels. The report noted that data from the Energy Information Agency indicated corn used to produce ethanol during the September-November quarter was down relative to the prior year for the first time since 2012. The report kept its estimate for soybean exports unchanged at 1.9 billion bushels and made no mention of the Trump administration’s trade war with China, which has effectively halted purchases of U.S. soybeans by the Asian giant. The season-average corn price received by producers is unchanged at a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel, but the range is narrowed 5 cents on each end to $3.25 to $3.95 per bushel. The season average soybean price for 2018/19 is forecast at $7.85 to $9.35 per bushel, unchanged at the midpoint. Cotton production was raised slightly due to a 300,000 bale increase in Texas.
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