WASHINGTON — Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated a corn crop for 2017 higher than U.S. farmers have ever realized, coming in with a whopping 175.4 bushels to acre average. That would equate to a record 14.578 billion bushels of corn in 2017.
The yield guess was significantly higher than analysts like Mike Zuzolo from Global Commodity Analytics was expecting.
“We had a sense that the corn grain fill was better than expected versus mid-summer,” Zuzolo said. “But with so much corn still out in the field as of last week’s Crop Progress Report from NASS, I think the trade, in general, was expecting this kind of number to come in December or January when harvest was complete.”
Zuzolo says the report did have some good news.
“The global stocks for corn are not bad at all,” Zuzolo said. “In fact, we had a demand increase around the world and we had a demand increase for corn domestically thanks, in part, to the livestock market. Our stocks to use ratios are about 19%, about 2 to 3% below where we were the last 2 marketing years.”
Zuzolo says the markets will have to work through the big yield number over the next week.
USDA lowered ending stocks for soybeans, but kept the yield estimate unchanged at 49.5 bushels to the acre with a 2017 harvest take in of 4.425 billion bushels.
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