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USDA raises 2019-20 year-ending corn stocks estimate 20% from June

New Delhi — US corn stocks are expected to total 2.01 billion bushels (51.05 million mt) at the end of the 2019-20 marketing year (September-August), the US Department of Agriculture said Thursday in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report for July.

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This estimate was ahead by 335 million bushels compared with the agency's June forecast, but down 330 million bushels from 2018-19 estimates of 2.340 billion bushels.

USDA's corn stocks estimates were 317 million bushels above the average of analysts' expectations, which came in at 1.692 billion bushels, sources said.

S&P Global Platts Analytics expects corn ending stocks to reach 1.927 billion bushels in 2019-20.

Corn yield estimate remained at 166 bushels/acre unchanged from June, the USDA data showed.

"In July, USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service will collect updated information on 2019 acres planted, and if the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the August Crop Production report. The national average corn yield is unchanged at 166 bushels per acre," USDA said.

"I did not think WASDE would deviate from [the] June Acreage report and they did not. Corn yield unchanged at 166 [bushels/acre]," Scott Irwin, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois, tweeted.

The USDA projected area planted for corn to reach 91.7 million acres in 2019-20, up from 89.8 million acres estimated in its June report.

This matches estimates from NASS, which released its first survey-based report of the year in June. At the time, NASS surprised the markets by bumping up the total corn planted area for 2019-20 to 91.7 million acres from 89.1 million acres estimated previously.

This was ahead of analyst estimates that were in the range of 81.7 million-87 million acres, which factored in historical planting delays seen in the US Corn Belt because of difficult weather conditions.

Platts Analytics expects corn planting area for 2019-20 to be at 90.7 million acres.

-- Rohan Somwanshi, rohan.somwanshi@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, newsdesk@spglobal.com