USDA lowers soybean, corn harvest view

Environment

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department trimmed its estimate for domestic corn and soybean production on Thursday, as yields from the ongoing harvest fell below expectations.

In its monthly crop production report, USDA forecast 2018/19 U.S. soybean production at 4.600 billion bushels, down from its previous estimate of 4.690 billion bushels. It also lowered its average soybean yield estimate to 52.1 bushels per acre compared with 53.1 bushels per acre a month ago.

USDA boosted its estimate of 2018/19 soybean ending stocks to 955 million bushels due to reduced exports amid a trade war with China.

For corn, the government pegged U.S. production at 14.626 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 178.9 bushels per acre. In October, USDA had forecast the corn harvest at 14.778 billion bushels and yields at 180.8 bushels per acre.

Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures <0#S:> dropped 1.4 percent after the report was released, hitting session lows. Corn futures <0#C:>, which had been treading slightly higher, dipped into negative territory.

Reporting by Mark Weinraub

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