April WASDE shows increased U.S. ending stocks, mixed world stocks

There was some anticipation with the COVID-19 pandemic and the OPEC oil price war that there could be some demand adjustments, especially to corn.

File photo.

The April World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is generally a quiet affair with few revisions, but there was some anticipation with the COVID-19 pandemic and the OPEC oil price war that there could be some demand adjustments, especially to corn.

U.S. corn ending stocks for the 2019-20 marketing year were increased by 200 million bushels from the March report to 2.092 billion bushels. Ted Seifried with Zaner Ag in Chicago says the increase came from a 375 million bushel drop in corn demand for ethanol.

“It is a result of production cuts tied to lower gas demand as the nation travels less due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I am glad that USDA pulled the Band-Aid off and decided to address the demand in this report. That will put some of the fear behind us and may have just put a floor under this market,” he says.

USDA raised feed demand to offset that by 175 million bushels. World carryout was also raised by 5.86 million metric tons compared to March to 303.2 million metric tons.

Soybean ending stocks in the U.S. were also raised to 480 million bushels, which was an increase of 55 million bushel from last month. Most of that came from a 50 million bushel drop in exports. However, global carryout was lowered to 100.5 million metric ton with lower production figures in South America. Brazil’s crop was lowered by 1.5 million metric tons to 124.5 million metric tons, and Argentina’s production estimate dropped by 2 million metric tons from the previous projection to 52 million metric tons.


Wheat ending stocks were also raised domestically by 30 million bushels, compared to last month’s figure of 940 million bushel. Seifried says the increase came from lower feed demand. However, with the recent rush on wheat around the world tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was interesting to note there was no indication of any shortage in the world. Global ending stocks were also hiked to 292.8 million metric tons, which was a 5.7-million-metric-ton increase from March.

The market will key in more closely to the May WASDE numbers, which will include the first new crop supply and demand tables. It will also include old crop demand adjustments and the results of resurveying farmers in four states in the Upper Midwest, including South Dakota and Minnesota ,where crops were not completely harvested last fall. The National Ag Statistics Service has indicated they will wait to resurvey farmers in North Dakota until a later date, as more than 20% of the corn crop was still in the field as of April 6.

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