The nation’s corn pile is shrinking but soybean ending stocks are holding steady, according to Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

Officials estimated corn ending stocks at 1.35 billion bushels, down from 1.5 billion bushels from a month ago. The average trade guess was 1.39 billion bushels. Ethanol use and exports increased 25 million bushels.

Soybean ending stocks were maintained at 120 million bushels, but exports rose 30 million bushels to 2.28 billion bushels. Traders expected ending stocks at 119 million bushels.

Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence for the United Soybean Board and U.S. Soybean Export Council said he was surprised to see an increase in the export number.

“We’ve seen a pretty substantial tail off in export pace over the last four or five weeks. Part of that’s seasonal but part of that is because we had such a robust start to the export season,” he told Agri-Pulse.

Some traders are fearful the U.S. could run out of soybeans by the end of the year. But Marshall argued the U.S. is entering a seasonal downtime in terms of crushing facility maintenance beginning.

“We’re still in (a) good position to make (it) to the end of the year but we’re going to be starting the next marketing year in a very tight position,” he noted.

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He said USDA has already baked in soybean imports for this marketing year at 35 million bushels. The number typically hovers around the 14- to 15-million-bushel range.

“Probably most jarring ... was seeing the Brazilian (production) number taken up by another 2 million metric tons to 136 million while Argentina was maintained at a 47.5 (million metric tons),” he stated.

However, Marshall did suggest USDA’s numbers for Brazil and Argentina fell within average trade expectations.

Wheat ending stocks increased from 836 million bushels last month to 852 million bushels this month. Traders’ expectations were 847 million bushels.

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