CHICAGO (Reuters) – The USDA’s estimate for corn and soybean farms on Wednesday fell short of analysts’ expectations, pushing futures prices up sharply for both raw materials.
Farmers plan to plant 91.144 million acres of corn this year, the largest number since 2016, and 87.6 billion acres of soybeans, the highest since 2018, in the agency’s first official survey-based forecast for the region’s US agriculture in 2021.
Analysts expected the report to show that farmers planned to plant 93.208 million acres of corn and 89.996 million acres of soybeans, according to the average estimate collected in a Reuters poll.
Wheat cultivation exceeded expectations at 46.358 million acres, compared to operator estimates of 44.971 million acres.
In another report, the USDA said that soybean stocks as of March 1 fell to their lowest level in five years, while corn stocks fell to their lowest level in seven years.
Soybean stocks were estimated at 1.564 million bushels as of March 1, down from 2.255 million at the same time last year, according to the Quarterly Grain Inventory Report, which included about 8,400 commercial establishments and nearly 80,000 farmers.
Corn stocks stood at 7.701 million bushels, down from 7.952 million a year ago.
Analysts surveyed prior to the report expected soybean stocks to average 1.534 million bushels and corn to 7.767 million bushels.
(Report by Carl Blume in Chicago; edited in Spanish by Javier Lyra and Javier Lopez de Lerrida)