Analysts Expect USDA to Raise Corn-Crop Forecast

By Benjamin Parkin Features Dow Jones Newswires

Strong yields are expected to result in a larger corn crop than initially expected this year.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expected to peg corn production nationwide this year at 14.323 billion bushels, according to an average of analyst estimates compiled by The Wall Street Journal, up from 14.28 billion bushels a month earlier.

Farmers had harvested 70% of the corn crop as of Sunday, behind the pace of recent years due to weather delays. But yields so far have beaten expectations, and analysts say the USDA should increase its yield forecast to 172.3 bushels per acre from 171.8 in October as a result.

The USDA will release its monthly supply-and-demand report on Thursday at noon EST.

Domestic corn stockpiles for 2017-18 will rise with the higher production, according to the estimates, alongside steady global stocks.

Mostly dry weather in the Midwest over the next 10 days should allow farmers to make swift progress harvesting their corn crops.

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Analysts say the USDA will likely trim its soybean production and stockpile forecasts. They expect farmers to harvest 4.404 billion bushels of the oilseed this year, down from the department's previous estimate of 4.431 billion.

The soybean harvest was 90% complete as of Sunday.

Global and domestic wheat stock forecasts will likely fall slightly, they say, despite bumper harvests out of countries like Russia.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 07, 2017 20:06 ET (01:06 GMT)