Futures contracts for wheat and corn are both trading up big this afternoon since 12 PM ET when the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
The report is one of the most critical WASDE releases of the year, according to commodity broker John Payne, because it provides the final statistics for the 2012 crop.
Sure enough, supplies of wheat were lower than previously expected, and demand is projected to be higher than before.
Corn supplies came in slightly stronger than previously expected, but demand is also projected to increase more than previously thought.
Wheat futures are up 2.2 percent, though they are starting to give back gains:
Corn is up around 2.3 percent:
Below is the key passage from the report regarding wheat:
Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2012/13 are lowered 38 million bushels this month. Feed and residual use is projected 35 million bushels higher as December 1 stocks, reported in the January Grain Stocks, indicate higher-than-expected disappearance during September-November. Seed use is raised 2 million bushels based on the winter wheat planted area reported in Winter Wheat Seedings. Projected exports for all wheat are unchanged; however, Hard Red Winter (HRW) wheat exports are lowered 25 million bushels and Soft Red Winter (SRW) wheat exports are raised 25 million bushels based on the pace of sales and shipments to date and the increasing competitiveness of SRW wheat in world markets. All wheat imports are also unchanged, but small adjustments raise projected HRW wheat imports 5 million bushels and reduce Hard Red Spring wheat and Durum imports by a combined 5 million bushels. The projected range for the 2012/13 season-average farm price for all wheat is lowered 10 cents at the midpoint and narrowed to $7.65 to $8.15 per bushel, based on prices reported to date.
The passage detailing the latest developments in the corn harvest reads similarly:
Projected corn use for 2012/13 is raised with higher expected feed and residual disappearance more than offsetting reduced prospects for exports. Feed and residual use is projected 300 million bushels higher based on September-November disappearance as indicated by December 1 stocks and on higher expected beef, pork, and poultry production. Corn exports are projected 200 million bushels lower reflecting the slow pace of sales and shipments to date and increasing pressure from larger supplies and exports for South America. Corn ending stocks are projected 44 million bushels lower at 602 million. The season-average farm price for corn is unchanged at $6.80 to $8.00 per bushel. While stiff competition has limited U.S. corn exports, higher domestic disappearance leaves the balance sheet historically tight and is expected to support continued strong and volatile prices well into summer, particularly in the domestic cash markets.
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