COVID-19 is still at play for crops in general, a commodity analyst said
By Diego Flammini
The USDA’s May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report had some positives for corn growers.
The USDA projected corn ending stocks at 3.318 billion bushels, which came in lower than the trade average’s figures of 3.38 billion.
“Ending stocks for new crop corn were better than expected because the ending stocks were lower than expected, but still huge versus recent years” said Abhinesh Gopal, head of commodity research with Farms.com Risk Management. “The new crop corn production is estimated at a record 16 billion bushels.”
Soybean numbers also came in lower than expected.
U.S. soybean ending stocks, estimated at 580 million bushels, came in lower than the trade’s projections of 488 million bushels.
“Soybean ending stocks for the new crop were decent compared to expectations and recent years,” Gopal said.
Wheat figures, however, were higher than originally thought.
The U.S. estimated its total wheat production for 2020/21 at 1.866 billion bushels, which is more than original estimates of 1.847 billion bushels.
Multiple factors are still at play that could change crop numbers, Gopal said.
“The COVID-19 situation, and associated demand destruction and market dynamics are still up in the air and affecting new crop demand,” he said. “Especially in ethanol demand, animal feed demand and food demand. To that, we add the U.S. trade situation with China. The uncertainty never really left us, but now keeps intensifying.”
On Tuesday, China announced new tariff waivers for 79 U.S. imports.
These products include ores of rare earth metals, gold ores, silver ores and concentrates.
“There were no real specifics to ag, which is why it didn’t have any affect on the May WASDE,” Gopal said.