November 10, 2015 / 5:02 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. raises outlook for soybean and corn production, stocks

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Tuesday raised its outlook for 2015 domestic soybean production and yield to record levels, with harvested acreage remaining huge despite heavy flooding in the spring.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s increased forecasts of both soy production and yield topped the high end of market forecasts. The government also raised its outlook for corn production and yield, with the figures topping the average of analysts’ estimates.

The bumper harvests will boost ending stocks of both commodities, as the outlook for soybean supplies comes in at the biggest level in nine years. The corn end stocks view received an additional bump from cuts to exports, as well as domestic and ethanol usage, and came in above the high end of forecasts.

U.S. soybean production for the 2015/16 crop year was pegged at 3.981 billion bushels and average yield at 48.3 bushels per acre. Those figures eclipsed the previous records of 3.927 billion bushels and 47.5 bushels per acre, both set in 2014.

USDA said the 2015/16 corn harvest would total 13.654 billion bushels, which would be the third largest ever. It said average yield would be 169.3 bushels per acre, the second highest on record.

In October, the government issued a corn harvest forecast of 13.555 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 168.0 bushels per acre. Soybean production was seen at 3.888 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 47.2 bushels per acre, in October.

USDA left its estimates of harvested acreage unchanged at 82.429 million for soybeans and 80.664 million for corn.

Soybean ending stocks for 2015/16 were seen at 465 million bushels, up 40 million from the October outlook and the biggest since the 2006/07 marketing year. Analysts, on average, had been expecting soybean ending stocks of 436 million bushels.

USDA raised its domestic corn ending stocks view to 1.760 billion bushels from 1.561 billion, slashing its outlook for ethanol usage by 75 million bushels and exports by 50 million bushels. Usage from the food, seed and industrial sector was cut by 75 million bushels.

The increased U.S. corn supplies also weighed on the world balance sheet. USDA raised its outlook for 2015/16 global corn ending stocks to 211.91 million tonnes from 187.83 million tonnes in October.

For wheat, U.S. ending stocks were raised to an unexpectedly bigger 911 million bushels from 861 million bushels due to a cut of 50 million bushels in exports. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Paul Simao)

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