Say What, WASDE?

Jan 15, 2021

Corn and soybean data stole the show at Tuesday’s WASDE report reveal.

The commodity cousins duked it out for the top headline as 2020 corn yield projections tanked and soybean stocks were tight.

The rundown: A 3.8-bushel yield drop for corn was the first bomb to drop in the USDA’s report. The department noted that August’s derecho plus a pretty crispy summer knocked yields in the Corn Belt much more than expected. A projection dip this steep between the December and January reports hasn’t been seen in 30+ years.

On the soybean side, 35 million bushels evaporated from ending stocks, making farm economists mull over the word ‘shortage.’ But ultimately, the crop has experienced tighter supply squeezes, even in 2013-2014.

And yes, the markets noticed…

Within minutes of the USDA’s report, soybeans skyrocketed 60 cents and corn shot up to its daily limit.

What else we learned:

  • Growth in milk per cow and more dairy cows led to higher ‘20-’21 milk estimates.
  • Production estimates for beef ticked down on lower cattle slaughter.
  • Heavier pigs couldn’t offset the slowed slaughter rate as estimated supply dropped.
  • A 500K-bale decline in Texas took cotton production lower.