Corn yields also up in WASDE

The overall revised corn yield numbers in the most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture were up from September, although not as much as soybean yields.

Based on Oct. 1 conditions, corn yields are expected to average 176.5 bushels per harvested acre, up 0.2 bushel from the previous forecast and up 5.1 bushels from 2020. The area harvested for grain is forecast at 85.1 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast.

The corn yield estimates from drought stricken Minnesota were up from the September estimates, but still down 7% from last year. Corn exports took a hit that was assumed to be due to Hurricane Ida and the temporary halt it imposed on export activity from the Gulf. Corn commitments from China, though, were up by about 100 million bushels compared to the same time last year.

Ethanol margins were strong—the strongest since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to James Mintert, director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture at Purdue University. He was cautiously optimistic that ethanol margins would remain strong as pandemic restrictions eased and people drover more. Ethanol production figures were slightly above those of two years ago, before the pandemic.

Corn supplies loosened

Corn ending stocks though were bumped up slightly to 10.1% of usage meaning, “Supplies aren’t as tight as we thought they were,” according to Nathan Thompson, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Purdue. Ten percent is the break point below which supplies are considered “tight,” but the numbers could move upward, Mintert said.

World stocks-to-use ratios remained the same as in the September estimates. The corn basis in Indiana and West Memphis, Arkansas, dropped slightly, presumably due to Hurricane Ida interruptions.

David Murray can be reached at [email protected].