U.S. Soy Stocks Rise as Trade War Bites

U.S. soybean stocks as of Dec. 1 were up sharply from a year earlier and at a new record high, according to a USDA grain stocks report released Friday.

The report, which was delayed from early January by the partial U.S. government shutdown, pegged nationwide soy supplies as of Dec. 1 at 3.74 billion bu, up 18% from last year’s record large stocks but almost bang on with trade guesses.

Soybean stocks stored on farms as of Dec. 1 totaled 1.94 billion bu, up 30% from a year ago, while off-farm stocks, at 1.80 billion bu, were up 7% from last December. Indicated disappearance for September - November 2018 totaled 1.25 billion bu, down 20% from the same period a year earlier.

U.S. soybean stocks have been building in the wake of the ongoing U.S.-China trade war which has severely limited American soy shipments to China. The U.S. has found alternative export destinations for its soybeans, although not enough to offset the loss of the Chinese market.

Meanwhile, U.S. corn stocks as of Dec. 1 were down from the year-ago level, while wheat stocks increased.

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 marks the first December-December reduction in corn stocks since 2012.

Of the total corn stocks, 7.45 billion bu were stored on farms, down 4% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 4.5 billion bu, were down 7% from a year ago. The September - November 2018 indicated disappearance was 4.61 billion bu, compared with 4.34 billion bu during the same period last year.

All wheat stocks amounted to 2 billion bu, up 7% from a year ago. On-farm stocks were estimated at 504 million bu, up 28% from last December. Off-farm stocks, at 1.50 billion bu, were up 1% from a year ago. The September - November 2018 indicated disappearance was 390 million bu, 1% below the same period a year earlier.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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