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April WASDE Makes Few Changes

By Ryan Hanrahan

The April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report was relatively light on changes yesterday, with the USDA only slightly lowering domestic corn ending stocks for the 2023/24 marketing year and slightly increasing domestic soybean ending stocks.

United States corn ending stocks are now estimated at 2.122 billion bushels, down 50 million bushels from last month due to “greater corn used for ethanol and feed and residual use,” the report said. U.S. soybean ending stocks are now estimated at 340 million bushels, up 25 million bushels from last month, primarily due to lower exports and lower residual use.

Farmdoc daily‘s Scott Irwin wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that, “as far as the old crop US corn and soybean balance sheets are concerned, no big changes in today’s WASDE April updates. The real fireworks may happen next month with the May WASDE. This is when the USDA will release first balance sheet estimates for new crop 2024/25.”

U.S. Corn and Soybeans Supply and Demand. Courtesy of USDA.

U.S. Corn and Soybeans Supply and Demand. Courtesy of USDA.

South American Production Mostly Unchanged

Heading into this month’s WASDE report, estimates of Brazil soybean production from major industry groups (like USDA and Conab) remained far apart. That didn’t change this month, as the USDA pegged Brazilian soybean production at 155 million metric tons, unchanged from their estimate last month. For corn, the USDA also kept Brazilian production unchanged at 124 million metric tons.

Conab, on the other hand, slightly lowered its April Brazil soybean production estimate to 146.522 million tons, according to Brownfield Ag News.

For Argentina production, the USDA held its estimate of soybean production unchanged at 50 million metric tons and slightly lowered corn production to 55 million metric tons.

The USDA’s April soybean production estimate from Brazil was also much higher than the industry estimate before the WASDE report’s release, according to Reuters’ Karen Braun, who reported before the release that “on average, analysts see USDA pegging Brazil’s 2023-24 soy crop at 151.68 million metric tons on Thursday, down from 155 million last month. “Similar-magnitude cuts were predicted but not observed in the previous couple of months, and the April trade estimate is analysts’ lowest yet of the season.”

Braun also reported, however, that “USDA’s track record in April has been better than the trade’s over the last few years.”

U.S. Soybeans

For U.S. soybeans, Progressive Farmer reported Thursday that “USDA left production and beginning stocks unchanged, but trimmed its forecast for imports to 25 mb, a 5 mb cut. Crush was left unchanged at 2.3 billion bushels, while exports were trimmed by 20 mb from last month. Soybean use for seed declined by 2 mb to 100 mb, reflecting lower acreage estimates for the 2024 season. Residual use was cut from 22 mb to 13 mb.”

“The average farm-gate price declined by a dime to $12.55 per bushel,” Progressive Farmer wrote.

U.S. Corn

Progresive Farmer reported that, for U.S. corn, “total 2023-24 Feed and Residual use was increased 25 mb to 5.7 bb. Ethanol use is forecast at 5.4 bb, also up 25 mb. Total domestic use is forecast at 12.505 billion bushels, up 50 mb based on the changes in demand. Exports for the corn crop are pegged at 2.1 bb, which was left unchanged from the March report.”

“The farmgate price was $4.70 a bushel, down 5 cents from last month,” Progressive Farmer wrote.

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