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September WASDE Preview

September WASDE Preview

The September WASDE report will drop tomorrow at 11 AM CT. With the heat and storm events of August there is some hope that the September WASDE could be a more friendly report.

The big thing to keep in mind from the August to Septebmer WASDE is that all agencies have had time to process some of the damage from the Derecho wind event that happened just days before the August WASDE. That report dropped on Aug. 12, and in the report USDA estimated a corn crop of 15.278 billion bushels (bb) and U.S. ending corn stocks of 2.756 bb. Both those numbers are expected to drop tomorrow given extensive damage in Iowa. Even with the average yield dropping back to 177 bpa and ending stocks being shaved nearly 400 mb there is still a lot of corn that will be coming out of the fields in the US. That’s likely not to help corn break above it’s current $3 trading channel.

The other change since the August report is the increase in new-crop corn sales — a bullish surprise from China. As of Sept. 9, the U.S. has 685 million bushels (mb) of new-crop corn sales on the books, the most for this time of year in at least eight years. USDA may not increase its 2.225 bb corn export estimate for 2020-21 on Friday but at least it will look more credible.

Dow Jones’ survey expects USDA to reduce its estimate of world ending corn stocks from 317.5 million metric tons (mmt) in August to 310.4 mmt (12.22 bb) Friday, largely due to the changes anticipated in the U.S. No major changes are expected for South American estimates.


As with corn, soybean supply estimates are also expected to be reduced after a month of dry weather and active export sales. Dow Jones’ survey is looking for USDA’s soybean crop estimate to come down from 4.425 bb in August to 4.286 bb Friday, based on a lower yield of 51.6 bpa.

USDA’s estimate of U.S. ending soybean stocks is also expected to be adjusted lower, from 610 mb in August to 461 mb (or roughly 11% of annual use).

New-crop soybean sales have been hot leading up to this report. So far the total is running near 960 mb as of Sept. 9, which is 45% of USDA’s export estimate for the entire 2020-21 season. With FOB soybean prices in Brazil now 53 cents above those at the U.S. Gulf, more U.S. soybean sales are likely, but it is difficult to know how far China will go with its purchases.

For now, China’s purchases have fueled noncommercial buying and pushed November soybean prices near their highest level in two years, creating a potentially volatile scenario for how the market may respond to Friday’s new estimates, should any surprise emerge.

From a world perspective, Dow Jones’ survey is looking for a small decline in USDA’s world soybean stocks estimate, from 95.4 mmt to 93.2 mmt (3.42 bb). So far, the forecast for Brazil remains dry and planting has not yet started. USDA’s South American soybean estimates probably won’t show much change Friday and are already anticipating increased soybean plantings in Brazil.


Unlike corn and soybeans, not much has changed for the wheat market since last month, other than wheat prices are higher, thanks largely to bullish changes in corn, as described above. Those changes also triggered short-covering among bearish funds that were surprised by corn’s bullish influence.

Watchers of wheat will not be surprised to hear USDA is likely to keep its estimate of world wheat production and world ending wheat stocks at record high levels for 2020-21. Dow Jones’ survey expects USDA to slightly lower its estimate of world ending wheat stocks from 316.8 mmt to 316.1 mmt (11.61 bb).

The usual major wheat crop estimates will be watched with another increase possible for Russia.

For the U.S., Dow Jones’ analysts expect only a slight change in USDA’s estimate, from 925 mb of U.S. ending wheat stocks in August to 926 mb Friday. With wheat already trading at fundamentally cheap prices, a sideways trading range seems likely this fall.

US Corn & Soybean Production 2020 Millions of Bushels September Average Range USDA August USDA 2019
Corn 14,833 14,625-15,095 15,278 13,617
avg. yield 177.7 174.8-181 181.8 167.4
Soybeans 4,286 4,192-4,391 4,425 3,552
avg yield 51.6 50.5-52.9 53.3 47.4
US 19-20 Stock Pile Millions of Bushels September Average Range USDA August
Corn 2,271 2,128-2,756 2,228
Soybeans 605 561-664 615
US 20-21 Stock Pile Millions of Bushels September Average Range USDA August
Corn 2,439 2,152-2,697 2,756
Soybeans 461 379-576 610
Wheat 926 900-948 925
World Stockpiles19-20 Million Metric Tons September Average Range USDA August
Corn 311.7 309.1-317.5 311.3
Soybeans 95.6 94-96.5 95.9
Wheat 302.8 299-316.8 300.9
World Stockpiles 20-21 Million Metric Tons September Average Range USDA August
Corn 310.4 304-317 317.5
Soybeans 93.2 89.5-100 95.4
Wheat 316.1 313.1-319 316.8
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