USDA would have updated its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) on Friday morning, but the monthly report is unavailable because of the government shutdown.
In an attempt to fill the information vacuum left by the report's absence, the U.S. Grains Council says early corn planting got underway in August in Argentina and continues through this month. Late corn, about 30% of the crop, is planted November through early January. The Council’s consultant in that region says planting delays in the early corn will shift acres to the later crop. Conditions have been cool and dry. The dry weather may lead to acres shifting from corn to soybeans. As for pricing, the Grains Council says economics favor soybeans. Corn prices on the Chicago Board of Trade have fallen, and it costs more than twice as much to plant corn in the region. That could also shift some acres, especially if weather concerns remain in place. The last USDA report, released in September, projected Argentine corn production at 1 billion bushels, nearly even with last year. The Council’s consultant says that production estimate remains feasible with trend yields, but it’s still too early to tell.
In Brazil, lower corn prices and a large carryover of corn negatively influenced planting decisions; farmers chose not to plant as much of a summer corn crop. According to the Grains Council, an anticipated record soybean crop also played a part in the decision. The outlook for soybean exports next year along with the reduction in value of the Brazilian Real has farmers optimistic on soybeans. In September, USDA estimated 2.8 billion bushels of corn production in Brazil this year, down from 3.2 billion bushels last year. The Council’s consultant says the estimate is a little low, but acknowledges it may be a bit early for a sound estimate.