(Adds prices, analyst quote)
By Mark Weinraub
WASHINGTON, March 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday raised its outlook for domestic soybean supplies by more than expected as it cut its estimate of the amount that will be crushed due to falling soymeal demand.
The government left its U.S. corn and wheat stocks estimates unchanged in its monthly supply and demand report. Analysts had been expecting a slight increase in domestic grain supplies.
On the global front, the wheat, corn and soybean supply outlooks were lowered, with world soy stocks falling below the range of market forecasts due to an increase in shipments to China. The global corn stocks figure also was below a range of trade estimates.
Soybean, corn and wheat futures all rose for five straight days heading into the report, with analysts attributing most of the gains to short-covering.
All three commodities dipped into negative territory after the report was released, but the declines were mild.
“Not much you can say here,” said Charlie Sernatinger, global head of commodity analytics at ED&F Man Capital. “The world numbers were blah. It was a wind sandwich combined with air soup. Back to the grind.”
USDA boosted its U.S. soybean ending stocks view for the 2015/16 crop year by 10 million bushels to 460 million. It cut its outlook for domestic crushings by the same amount and lowered soymeal usage by 200,000 tons.
Analysts had expected U.S. soy end stocks of 452 million bushels, according the average of analysts’ estimates given in a Reuters survey.
U.S. corn and wheat stocks were steady at 1.837 billion bushels and 966 million bushels, respectively. Both figures were below the average of analysts’ estimates but within the range of market forecasts.
Global soy stocks were seen at 78.87 million tonnes, below forecasts ranging from 80 million to 82 million tonnes. The USDA raised its outlook for Chinese soybean imports to 82 million tonnes from 80.50 million tonnes in February.
World corn ending stocks were cut to 206.97 million tonnes from 208.81 million tonnes, largely due to lower beginning stocks in Brazil that resulted from an increase in the estimate of 2014/15 exports from that country. Analysts’ estimates for global corn stocks ranged from 207.15 million tonnes to 210.00 million tonnes.
USDA reduced the global wheat stocks view to 237.59 million tonnes from 238.87 million tonnes due to lower production in Australia and India. (Additional reporting by Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Editing by Andrea Ricci and Marguerita Choy)