USDA Expected to Show Larger Soybean Stocks

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to raise its forecasts for domestic and global soybean stockpiles in a closely watched report on Friday, reflecting increased global production.

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Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the agency to forecast U.S. soybean stocks climbing to 498 million bushels at the end of the 2017-18 crop season, compared with its May estimate of 480 million. That is up from estimated ending stocks in 2016-17 of 432 million bushels, analysts say.

The USDA is also expected to boost global oilseed stockpiles in 2017-18 to 89.5 million metric tons, up from its May forecast of 88.8 million, according to the survey. Ending stocks this season are also expected to rise.

The extra supply comes as farmers in North and South America remain on track to produce bumper soybean crops this year.

The prospect of more oilseed supply has pressured soybean prices, with futures at the Chicago Board of Trade down around 14% in the past five months as traders bet supply will outgrow demand.

Analysts expect the USDA to forecast easing corn stockpiles. Domestic corn supplies at the end of next season are expected to reach 2.075 billion bushels, down from an estimated 2.284 billion this crop year. Analysts expect the USDA to lower global corn stocks to 195.4 million metric tons in 2017-18 from 224 million this year.

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U.S. farmers are expected to reduce corn acreage this year, opting for less cash-intensive soybeans instead. Weather troubles have dogged corn planting this season, with excess rain delays followed by dryness concerns.

Analysts see the USDA lowering domestic wheat stocks while increasing global supplies.

Write to Benjamin Parkin at benjamin.parkin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 07, 2017 20:30 ET (00:30 GMT)