Chicago Close: Little Changed after USDA Reports

Chicago grain and oilseed futures ended little changed on Friday, following the release of a slew of USDA data.

Delayed from early January by the partial U.S. government shutdown, the USDA winter wheat seedings report, a stocks-in-all-positions report and updated supply-demand estimates contained little in the way of surprises, with most futures contracts settling within 3 or 4 cents of unchanged.

For wheat, the USDA pegged the crop for harvest this summer at 31.3 million acres, down 4% from the previous two years and below most trade guesses. If accurate, it would be the second lowest U.S. acreage on record. Meanwhile, estimated U.S. 2018-19 wheat ending stocks were revised higher from December, while global supplies were trimmed slightly. U.S. all wheat stocks as of Dec. 1 were reported at 2 billion bu, up 7% from a year ago. March Chicago wheat gained 4 cents to $5.17 ¼, March Kansas City was down 2 cents at $4.94 ¼ and March Minneapolis added 4 cents to $5.68 ½.

Soybeans ended slightly higher as the USDA cut estimated 2018-19 U.S. soybean ending stocks by 45 million bu from December to 910 million, while global ending stocks were hacked 8.6 million tonnes to 106.72 million, partially due to a 5-million tonne cut in expected production in Brazil. Nationwide soy stocks as of Dec. 1 were pegged by the USDA at 3.74 billion bu, up 18% from last year and a new record high. March soybeans added 1 ¼ cents to $9.14 ½ and new-crop November was up 1 ¼ cents at $9.57.

Corn was a bit lower with U.S. corn ending stocks for the current marketing year revised a modest 46 million bu lower from December to 1.735 billion bu, while world corn ending stocks for 2018-19 were raised modestly to 309.78 million tonnes from 308.8 million in December. Meanwhile, U.S. corn stored in all positions on December 1, 2018 totaled 12 billion bu, down 5% from Dec. 1, 2017 and almost on par with trade guesses. It marked the first December-over-December reduction in corn stocks since 2012. March corn lost 2 ¼ cents to $3.74 ¼ and new-crop December was down a penny at $3.99 ¼.

Live cattle futures ended higher today. Lean hogs were lower.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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