CHICAGO — The US soybean harvest, already forecast as the biggest ever, will top previous expectations as prospects in major producing states like Illinois, Indiana and Ohio make up for shortfalls west of the Mississippi River, the government said on Friday.
But corn production will be smaller than previously thought and 5% smaller than last year as adverse weather during critical periods of development limited harvest potential, particularly in the South.
“The bean yield went up and that was the big surprise,” said Ted Seifried, vice president of Zaner Group.
Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures, which had been trading higher throughout the morning as investors priced in expectations for a reduction to the crop outlook, fell sharply after the data was released.
A larger-than-expected soy crop could help replenish low supplies of the oilseed needed to feed livestock and make renewable fuel. However, global supplies of corn and wheat remain tight following Russia’s invasion of major producer Ukraine. Shipments are slowly restarting from Black Sea ports.
The US soybean harvest was pegged at a record 4.531 billion bushels while the corn harvest was pegged at 14.359 billion bushels, according to the US Agriculture Department’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. That compares with the government’s July harvest estimates of 14.505 billion bushels for corn and 4.505 billion bushels for soybeans.
Analysts had been expecting the report to show corn production of 14.392 billion bushels and soybean production of 4.481 billion bushels, based on the average of estimates given in a Reuters poll.
Average yields were seen at 175.4 bushels per acre for corn and a record 51.9 bushels per acre for soybeans, the government said. That compares with market forecasts for 175.9 and 51.1 and the July outlooks of 177.0 and 51.5. (Additional reporting by Karl Plume; Editing by Richard Chang)