Intention to plant grains in the USA does not change the price scenario – 03/28/2024 – Vaivém

Intention to plant grains in the USA does not change the price scenario – 03/28/2024 – Vaivém


The long-awaited data on planting intentions in the United States for soybeans did not bring much news. Corn prices were slightly below market expectations, according to Daniele Siqueira, an analyst at AgRural, in Curitiba.

Figures from this Thursday (28) from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) indicate that Americans are expected to sow soybeans on 35 million hectares in the 2024/25 harvest, an area similar to that predicted by the market.

If confirmed, however, this area exceeds that of the previous harvest by 1.2 million hectares. Maintaining a productivity trend line, AgRural estimates that the American harvest will reach 121 million tons, above the 113.4 million in 2023/24.

The country’s quarterly physical stocks report showed a volume of 50.2 million tons of soybeans on March 1, above the 45.9 million in the same period last year.

Even with the smaller 2023/24 harvest, soybean stocks increased as consumption fell, mainly due to weak exports.

From September to February, AgRural estimates that the apparent consumption of soybeans by Americans, including exports, was 71.1 million tons.

The intention to plant corn is lower than the market predicted. According to the USDA, American producers will sow the cereal on 36.4 million hectares, below the 37.2 million expected by the market. This number is also lower than the 36.8 million initially predicted by the USDA, last February.

If confirmed, the area will be 1.8 million hectares smaller than that of 2023/24. If the productivity trend line of 189.3 bags per hectare is maintained, corn production drops to 378 million tons, below the record of 390 million from the previous harvest.

In Daniele’s assessment, corn is losing area because cereal stocks are high and production costs are higher than those of soybeans. At the beginning of this month, the country had 212 million tons of corn in storage, up from 188 million in the same period last year. This increase is due to the record production of the 2023/24 harvest.

Based on production figures and initial stocks, AgRural estimates that apparent corn consumption in the United States reached 213 million tons from September to February. This consumption was driven by exports.

For Daniele, even with a reduction of 1.8 million hectares in the planting area and lower production, corn stocks are growing, considering preliminary consumption figures from the USDA.

“This growth limits the ability of corn prices to rise on the Chicago Stock Exchange. They even increase at times, such as this Thursday (28), due to the smaller area than expected, but they do not have the strength to continue supported by a long time”, says Daniele.

In relation to soybeans, the area is larger, production increases, but it is not a record. If the productivity trend line used by the USDA in the February 15th data release is maintained, stocks will grow.

This evolution of soybean stocks is not as smooth as that of corn, but it is a situation that does not leave much room for big increases on the Chicago Stock Exchange, according to the analyst.

The relationship between corn stock and consumption rises from 14.9%, in the 2023/24 harvest, to 16.1% in 2024/25, according to AgRural. In the case of soybeans, the increase is from 7.6% to 8.7%, according to preliminary production and consumption data.

Everything changes, however, if there are weather problems during the planting and development of American crops, says Daniele.

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