ANALYSIS - Grain futures markets were under modest selling pressure in the wake of the latest US Department of Agriculture monthly supply and demand report issued late Wednesday morning, writes Jim Wyckoff, grain analyst.
Overall, the USDA data was deemed by traders to be slightly bearish. Trading was choppy and volatile, however, as the grain trade continued to digest the latest government numbers.
USDA raised its estimate of US corn supplies on hand for the current marketing year, but not by as much as the market place expected. The USDA pegged US corn stocks at the end of the 2012-13 marketing year at 757 million bushels. This compares with USDA's March forecast of 632 million bushels and a pre-report consensus forecast of 824 million bushels on hand at the end of the marketing year.
The US government also projected slightly less export demand and domestic use for U.S. corn than in its March report.
On world corn carryover, USDA forecast ending stocks at 125.3 million metric tons at the end of the 2012-13 marketing year. That compares with a pre-report analysts' consensus of 120.2 million tons and the March USDA report estimating 117.48 million tons. The larger world carryover figure was a main bearish factor for corn.
Meantime, USDA increased its wheat stocks figure for the end of the 2012-13 marketing year. The new peg for wheat stocks is 731 million bushels versus 716 million bushels in last month's report. The pre-report consensus trade prediction was spot on, at 731 million bushels.
World wheat carryover for the 2012-13 marketing year is pegged by USDA at 182.3 million tons, which compares with 178.23 million tons last month and an analyst consensus forecast of 178.6 million tons. The world carryover number was deemed bearish for wheat futures.
US soybean endings stocks for the 2012-13 marketing year are forecast by USDA at 125 million bushels, which is unchanged from last month's report but down from the analysts' estimate of 137 million for this month's report.
World soybean ending stocks for the 2012-13 marketing year are forecast by USDA at 62.6 million tons versus last month's figure of 60.21 million tons. Analysts thought the USDA number would come in at 60.1 million tons.
Grain traders are quickly turning their attention back to weather patterns in the US. Cold, wet weather is presently enveloping the Corn Belt, and that is limiting the downside in corn prices due to concerns about planting delays.
Wheat futures prices are seeing selling interest mitigated by freezing temperatures that are occurring in the hard red winter wheat region of the US Plains states. This has raised concerns about frost damage to the wheat crop there.