Soybean prices tumbled to a three-month low in the Chicago futures markets on Monday after USDA said farmers likely planted a record number of acres this spring and that a larger amount of soybeans remain in storage from last year's harvest than what analysts had expected.
Corn futures also were down sharply as June 1 stocks 3.85 billion bushels were at the high-end of trade estimates, likely reflecting less being fed because of a smaller hog herd. The stocks were well above last year's 2.766 billion.
Corn's planted acreage at 91.64 million was the lowest since 2010 but within the range of estimates and down slightly from USDA's March number of .91.691 million.
"Today's reports are bearish all around, with little encouraging data," said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst. "Soybeans are the biggest loser. The agency's estimate of June 1 old crop stocks, while historically tight, suggests the 2013 crop was 30 million to 50 million bigger than previous estimates, unless imports really exploded in May, which is unlikely."
Soybean stocks of 405 million bushels were surprising as robust exports and active domestic processing had many analysts expecting a smaller supply. Pre-report estimates averaged 378 million in a Reuters survey and 382 million in Bloomberg's.
A year ago, June 1 soy stocks were nearly 435 million, while the acreage was up from USDA's March number of 81.493 million.
Corn acreage was little changed from the March estimate of 91.691 million. USDA put harvested acres at 83.84 million down from 2013's 87.67 million.
"The lower harvested acreage USDA plugged in is close to the number I've been using already," Knorr said of the corn. "This means potential for a crop of 14 billion bushels or more is still very much in play."
The larger June 1 corn stocks suggests what USDA's hog report showed on Friday, there are fewer hogs around, even though those that were around were fed to higher weights, said Knorr.
Wheat stocks of 590 million bushels were close to trade estimates and down from 718 million a year ago. Acreage at 56.474 million was at the high end of estimates due to a larger-than-expected spring wheat area, which came in at 12.709 million acres. Estimates for spring wheat averaged 11.86 million in a Reuters survey.
"The wheat numbers were a little bearish from an acreage standpoint, but the key now is weather, both here around the world. But lower corn prices mean only off-quality wheat will be fed this summer," Knorr said.
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