April Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist (with collaboration from a number of USDA agencies) released their monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report today (April 9). At this stage the reports do not carry the level of excitement that we will get next month. By now, information pertaining to last year’s crop is largely under control so typically there are few changes. Last week’s Grain Stocks report also provided guidance on the degree of consumption for most crops. However, next month’s report will be the first to gauge the upcoming crop year with subjective forecasts of yields, supplies, and demand being released.

This month’s report was largely unchanged. The corn ending stocks estimate totaled 1.827 billion bushels, up 50 million compared to the March estimate. The change stems from corn inventories reported in the March 31 Grain Stocks report. Corn used for feed was down 50 million bushels. All other domestic corn estimates were unchanged.

Estimated soybean seed and residual use was larger by six and 14 million bushels, respectively, again resulting from the recent inventory update. Soybean imports were increased by five million bushels leaving ending stocks at 370 million bushels, down 15 million.

Domestic cotton ending stocks increased by 200,000 bales to 4.4 million. U.S. cotton yield for the 2014 growing season was raised to 806 pounds per acre, up from 795 projected last month. This changed stemmed from the Cotton Ginnings report. This pushed total 2014 production up to 16.3 million bales, up 220,000 (for those who pulled out their calculators, the 20,000 bale difference is swept into an “unaccounted” category).

U.S. Rice ending stocks estimates were raised to 42.4 million hundredweight, up 1.5 million. Imports increased 500,000 hundredweight, while domestic use and exports both fell by one million each.

Globally, corn ending stocks increased 3.18 million metric tons, with roughly 40% of the change coming from the higher U.S. stocks. Argentina’s stocks fell slightly, while Brazil’s were mostly flat. Soybean ending stocks across the world were mostly unchanged from the March report. Argentinian ending stocks were up one million metric tons and Brazil’s soybean stocks were unchanged. Global rice stocks were up almost one million metric tons, with about half of that stemming from the U.S. Finally, after continued growth in cotton stocks, this month’s estimate has global cotton ending stocks mostly steady compared to the March report (China holds 59.2% of all global ending stocks).