(Adds analyst quote, price reaction)
By Mark Weinraub
WASHINGTON, Sept 30 U.S. wheat supplies
ballooned to the biggest in nearly 30 years during the summer
months, topping expectations, as a 12 percent jump in production
and weak demand on the export market filled storage bins, the
government said on Friday.
The U.S. Agriculture Department also reported corn and
soybean stocks as of Sept. 1 at multi-year highs despite record
usage of both commodities during the June, July and August time
In its quarterly stocks report, the USDA said that wheat
stocks as of Sept. 1 stood at 2.527 billion bushels, the biggest
since 1987. Analysts, on average, had been expecting wheat
stocks of 2.402 billion bushels, according to the average of
estimates given in a Reuters poll.
Corn stocks were 1.738 billion bushels, the biggest since
2006, and soybean stocks were at a five-year high of 197 million
bushels. Analysts were expecting corn stocks of 1.754 billion
bushels and soybean stocks of 201 million bushels.
A year ago, wheat stocks stood at 2.097 billion bushels,
corn stocks stood at 1.731 billion bushels and soybean stocks
stood at 191 million bushels.
Chicago Board of Trade soft red winter wheat futures
sank to their lowest in nearly a month immediately after the
report was released. Prices quickly recovered but remained in
Corn futures, which were trading in negative territory
before the report, turned higher and soybean futures
dipped briefly before returning to pre-report levels.
"Everything came in almost spot-on expectations," said Joe
Lardy, analyst at CHS Inc. "For once we didn't get a massive
curve ball. "Now we can focus on the critical issues, of what
are the yields and what does harvest look like for corn and
The drawdown in soybean stocks for the three months ended
Sept. 1 totaled 675 million bushels. Corn disappearance was
2.975 billion bushels.
Despite the massive drawdown in corn and soybeans, stocks
were expected to be replenished quickly in the coming weeks due
to forecasts for record harvests of both crops.
The USDA said that all-wheat production for the country
would be 2.310 billion bushels, down from its August estimate of
2.321 billion bushels.
Winter wheat production was pegged at 1.672 billion bushels,
up from the August estimate of 1.657 billion bushels. It also
raised its outlook for durum and hard red winter wheat
production but cut its estimate of soft red winter wheat and
other spring wheat production.
(Additional reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Editing by
Andrea Ricci and Tom Brown)