The Department of Agriculture made little change to key figures for corn, soybean, wheat and rice figures on the last “report day” of 2021. 

The December World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates maintained the same figures for wheat domestic use, corn and soybean supply and use, domestic use and the season-average farm price for rice, as well as its estimates for beef production and cotton supply and demand.

Mike Lung, director of brokerage for Allendale Inc., said the figures rolled out Thursday fell largely in line with both trade expectations as well as previous December WASDE reports.

“The December report is kind of a ‘kick the can’ kind of report,” he said. “You don’t normally see too many changes ensue on this, and from what trade is reacting to right now, we were more than willing to kick the can down the road to the January report and see what USDA has to say then.” 

The report issued its biggest changes to the wheat industry as it lowered projected exports and boosted ending stocks, causing a bearish market reaction that sent prices lower. Lung said those changes had been on traders’ minds for a while.

“The business that was supposed to be coming towards us has not and it doesn’t seem like it will,” he said.

While many figures held steady, the report did make some slight changes:

  • Wheat exports dropped 20 million bushels and U.S. export prices are expected to remain high through the rest of the marketing year, “further diminishing U.S. competitiveness,” USDA said in the report. Projected ending stocks were raised 15 million bushels to 598 million, a figure still 29% lower than last year.
  • The corn supply and use outlook was unchanged and the price expectation held steady at $5.45 per bushel. Foreign production expectations rose higher on increased anticipated EU and Ukrainian production.
  • Soybean price expectations held steady at $12.10 per bushel and global supply and demand forecasts were trimmed on lower production and ending stocks estimates.
  • Rice import expectations were cut 1.5 million hundredweight to 33.5 million. The season-average price for all rice was unchanged at $14.80 per cwt.
  • Sugar’s ending stocks-to-use ratio was trimmed 0.3% to 13.8%.
  • Cotton production forecasts got a 0.5% boost on “higher yields in other regions” offsetting lower yield expectations for the Southwest.

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