The best rhetorical question asked about yesterday's significant USDA reports was, “Was there anything that surprised you?” In looking at the response of the market, there were obviously no surprises that were considered significant. That would be in relative terms to the last 5 years in which either beans or corn ended either limit up or limit down at the end of the trading day. That is the definition of a market surprise. While the March 31 Planting Intentions and Quarterly Grain Stocks reports were not surprises, they were not a yawner either.

The commodity market traders apparently did extraordinary research ahead of the USDA’s Planting Intentions report, and Quarterly Grain Stocks Report because the USDA’s numbers for acreage and stocks fell within the range of trade guesses:

Stocks

USDA 3/31

Trade ave.

Trade range

USDA 12/31

Corn

7.006 bil.

7.099 bil.

6.861-7.540 bil.

10.426 bil.

Soybeans

0.992 bil.

0.989 bil.

0.955-1.087 bil.

2.148 bil.

Wheat

1.055 bil.

1.042 bil.

0.985-1.115 bil.

1.463 bil.

         

Acreage

USDA 3/31

Trade Ave.

Trade Range

Ag Forum Est.

Corn

91.691 mil.

92.748 mil.

90.5-94.0 mil.

92.0 mil

Soybeans

81.493 mil.

81.075 mil.

78.5-83.6 mil.

79.5 mil.

All Wheat

55.815 mil

56.277 mil.

54.8-57.7 mil.

55.5 mil.

Within the Cornbelt, the trend was prevalent. While the national trend was a 4% drop in corn acres, Cornbelt farmers were cutting acreage by 3.33%, but still raising 83% of the US corn crop. Nationally, the trend was a 6% increase in soybean acres, and within the Cornbelt, where 80% of the soybeans will be grown, there will be a 7.75% increase in soybean acres. 

Cornbelt Planting Intentions (mil. acres)

 

Corn

% of 2013

Soybeans

% of 2013

IL

11.9

99

9.5

101

IN

5.8

97

5.5

106

IA

14.0

103

9.6

103

KS

4.4

102

3.9

108

MI

2.6

100

2.1

111

MN

8.6

100

7.4

110

MO

3.3

99

5.5

98

NE

9.4

94

5.4

113

ND

2.95

77

5.65

122

OH

3.7

95

4.7

106

SD

5.8

94

4.8

104

WI

4.1

100

1.75

111

Tot.

76.55

96.66667

65.8

107.75

While the grain stocks report reflects last year’s larger harvest, the stocks are also being consumed at an orderly pace compared to the 2013/13 rationing. Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 7.01 billion bushels, up 30% percent from March 1, 2013. And soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 992 million bushels, down 1% from March 1, 2013.