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Running the Numbers

Honey, I shrunk the…corn pile.

Last Friday’s WASDE report for the month of April projected U.S. corn supplies or carryover to be lower than expected, which drove futures for the grain to prices not seen in eight years.

So are they hiding it under a bushel basket or what? Not quite. Instead, the tighter supply stems from stronger demand, both domestic and foreign.

The corn demand shifted across the following categories:

  • Feed use: +50 million bushels
  • Ethanol Usage: +25 million bushels
  • Exports: +75 million bushels

The shrink ray missed the soybean pile, though, as there were some tweaks but no major updates. The USDA is predicting slightly lower crush, seed, and residual use but anticipates slightly higher exports. Soybean ending stocks remained unchanged from March at 120 million bushels.

Bottom line: While the data didn’t cause fireworks quite like the previous week’s Prospective Planting report, many will be eyeing 2021 data closely to gauge where the country’s commodities are headed in the fall.