Corn and soybean futures jumped significantly higher this morning after USDA said growers would plant less corn and soybeans than a year ago. For corn, USDA estimates U.S. acres will total 88.026 million acres. That’s nearly 1.5 million acres below the average trade guess of 89.48 million acres. USDA also anticipates significantly fewer soybean acres than trade analysts anticipated, with 88.982 million acres. USDA predictions for winter wheat acres were much closer to the mark, coming in at 32.71 million acres, versus the average trade guess of 32.62 million acres. The agency is more bullish on spring wheat acres, predicting 12.63 million acres versus the average trade guess of 11.54 million acres. All except spring wheat finished higher for the day.
For the week ending March 22, corn and wheat totals were mainly in line with trade expectations, but soybean totals slumped once more – a disappointing trend so far in 2018. U.S. sales to China are down 18% from last year at a time when Brazil starts to take over world trade in the oilseed. A study conducted by Purdue University agricultural economists Wally Tyner and Farzad Taheripour finds Chinese soybean imports from the U.S. could drop by as much 71% if China were to impose trade restrictions on U.S. soybeans in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese products.
Crop Progress reports resume on Monday.