Fewer winter wheat acres were planted than what the market thought, but other than that, the first USDA report of the new year, released Monday morning, did not contain any major surprises.

“This really was a wave of new numbers for the market to digest, and yet if you look across the whole scope of it, there’s not a lot that on its own was really surprising,” says Jon Driedger, senior analyst and risk management portfolio manager with FarmLink Marketing Solutions in the interview below. “Winter wheat plantings came in a couple million acres below what the market had been expecting, so that would be viewed as a bit of a surprise.”

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The department estimated winter wheat acres at 40.5 million, when analysts were expecting between 41 and 44 million.

U.S. corn stocks as of December 1st were pegged at a record 11.2 billion bushels, with the trade expecting between 10.8 and 11.3 billion. Soybean supplies were estimated at 2.5 billion, with the average trade guess between 2.5 and 2.6 billion. Wheat supplies were pegged at 1.5 billion bushels — also in line with trade expectations.

Soybean futures saw the largest decline following the report — dropping around 35 cents a bushel, although some analysts say the soybean market was due for a move lower without the USDA numbers.

“The market had been hanging in there pretty resiliently, so maybe it was more a matter of getting this report behind us to give people confidence to sell it,” says Driedger.

Listen to this interview for a more in-depth discussion about the USDA numbers, how downside risk for soybeans could impact canola prices and what markets will be watching over the next few months heading into seeding:

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