Bulls and bears square off in U.S. Prospective Plantings report


The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its much anticipated Prospective Plantings report.

Overall, there were no real surprises in the report. The corn planting average is up four per cent from 2022, and the soybean average is up slightly as well.

As of early Friday, soybeans were keeping a bullish tone, with futures positively responding to the 87.5 million projected acres, up slightly from last year. The soybeans number fell slightly below trade expectations, which ranged from 88.2 to 88.3 million acres.

Corn planted area for 2023 is estimated at 92.0 million acres, up 3.42 million acres from last year. Planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 40 of the 48 states.

Analysts are somewhat bearish on corn looking at the long term — as this could produce a higher carryout, eventually. But, as Angie Setzer, grain analyst and @GoddessofGrain, said of the release of the report, “we’ve got a long way to go before we get there.”

Broadly looking at all wheat, planted area for 2023 is estimated at 49.9 million acres, up nine per cent from 2022.

The acreage expectation for durum wheat rose significantly from 2022 — up nine per cent — which could correlate back to the crop’s ability to handle less rain and higher heat units.

26.0 million acres of the total wheat acreage is expected to go to Hard Red Winter Wheat, 7.80 million go to Soft Red Winter, and 3.71 million to White Winter, totalling 37.5 million acres for winter wheat — which is up 13 per cent from last year.

Spring wheat acres dropped two per cent for 2023, with average estimated at 10.6 million acres.

Matthew Pot, founder of Grain Perspectives Inc., says for acres heading into this report, a neutral report was bullish, and a bearish report was a potential buy opportunity.

“Last year, the acres of the 8-major crops from March to January ended 4.6 million acres lower. Adding in quarter stocks, the reports were mostly neutral with old crop stocks for corn and soybeans reported tighter than expected. Arguably, more important than the numbers, this report is an annual reminder that we are entering April and it’s time to put on seatbelts for whatever the rollercoaster ride will be this spring,” he explains.




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