September 30, 2008

Corn stocks reach 1.62 billion bushels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s quarterly stocks report that came out today said corn stocks as of Sept. 1 were 1.62 billion bushels – about 78 million above the average guesstimate and 25 percent more than last year. One analyst noted that was like finding another half million acres of corn to harvest.

The June-August 2008 indicated disappearance was 2.40 billion bushels, compared with 2.23 billion bushels during the same period last year. So use went up, but not by much.

That news pushed December corn futures below $5 for the first time since early this year.

A bigger surprise was in soybean stocks. Some reports have talked about short bean supplies, but USDA bumped up last year’s soy crop some 91 million bushels. That increased stocks to 205 million bushels – more than 60 million above the guesstimates but still 64 percent below a year ago.

These bigger numbers came from a half-bushel yield increase from last year’s crop, and a 1.3 million-acre increase in harvested acres. That’s a lot old acres that were “found” in the last three months!

USDA said September 1 wheat stocks were 1.86 billion bushels. This was 75 million bushels below the average guesstimate but up 28 percent from last year.

Talk was, a good chunk of wheat went to feed this summer – which also explains how corn stocks grew.

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