Higher spring wheat and lower soybean acres headline USDA planting intentions report

Add over a million acres of spring wheat, and subtract more than two million acres of soybeans…

There were a few surprises in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report published on Thursday.

The department pegged soybean acres at 89.0 million acres — more than two million below the average trade estimate of 91.1 million, and down from 90.1 million acres last year.

The corn acreage estimate was also considered to be bullish, coming in at 88.0 million acres versus trade expectations of 89.5 million, and down from 90.2 million in 2017. (continues below)

Matthew Pot of Grain Perspectives joined RealAg Radio on Thursday to break down some of the key numbers in the USDA’s data — listen here:

On the other hand, the wheat acreage estimates were bearish, as the USDA forecast all-wheat acreage at 47.3 million acres, versus the trade estimate of 46.5 million. Spring wheat was pegged at 12.6 million — over a million acres more than the trade’s 11.5 million acre estimate. 12.1 million of those acres are slated to be hard red spring wheat, said the department.

Breaking the all-wheat number down further, winter wheat was estimated at 32.7 million versus the trade guess of 32.6 million, and durum was pegged at 2.0 million vs 2.4 million.

Oat acres in the U.S. are expected to increase by 5 percent from last year to 2.7 million, while barley acres were forecast to drop by 8 percent to 2.3 million.

U.S. canola acreage is expected to be virtually unchanged at 2.1 million.

The USDA also published its quarterly stocks report on Thursday, with bearish corn and soybean supply estimates.

March 1 soybean stocks were pegged at 2.11 billion bushels, at the high end of pre-report estimates that averaged 2.03 billion.

Corn stocks came in at 8.89 billion bushels, compared with analyst expectations around 8.70 billion.

March 1st wheat stocks were in line with the average trade guess at 1.49 billion bushels.

(The Canadian version of the USDA’s acreage estimates — Statistics Canada’s principal field crop areas report — is scheduled to be published on April 27th.)

More to come.

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