US 2009 corn, soybean crops set records

12 January 2010 16:41  [Source: ICIS news]

Corn production up but prices fallHOUSTON (ICIS news)--A report of record production of corn and soybeans in 2009 sent futures markets tumbling on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday.

US
growers produced a record 13.2bn bushels of corn and a record 3.36bn bushels of soybeans in 2009, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Annual Summary of Crop Production USDA said.

Traders in the opening at the Chicago Merc responded to the report by opening near-term corn bids at $3.92/bushel, down 30 cents from Monday’s close. Soybeans opened at $9.72/bushel, down 30 cents from Monday.

Corn for grain production at a record 13.2bn bushels was up 2% from the 1 November forecast, and 1% above the previous record of 13.0bn bushels set in 2007.

US grain yield was also estimated at a record level for 2009, at 165.2 bushels/acre, up 2.3 bushels from the November forecast and 4.9 bushels above the previous record of 160.3 bushels/acre set in 2004.

Soybean production of 3.36bn bushels was up 1% from the 1 November forecast and up 13% from 2008.

The average soybean yield per acre was estimated at a record high 44.0 bushels, 0.7 bushel above the November forecast and 4.3 bushels above last year’s yield.

Harvested area for soybeans was up 2% from 2008 to a record 76.4m acres, the USDA said.

“The unparalleled productivity of America's farmers continues to amaze even the most sceptical of critics,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president Bob Dinneen.

“Despite unfavourable weather conditions from start to finish, farmers produced considerably more corn than the food, feed, and fuel markets are demanding,” Dinneen said. “There can be no question that American farmers have both the capability and the can-do attitude to feed the world while simultaneously helping reduce our nation’s reliance on imported oil.”

The Fertilizer Institute said the record amounts will mean a greater need for fertilizers in 2010.

"Big crops consume big amounts of ammonia, phosphorus and potassium, nutrients that will have to be replaced for use by the 2010 crop," said The Fertilizer Institute vice president Kathy Mathers.

The record crops boosted US grain stocks well above 2008 levels.

Corn stored in all positions on 1 December, 2009 totalled 10.9bn bushels, up 9% from a year ago. Of the total stocks, 7.45bn bushels were stored on farms, up 15% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 3.49bn bushels, were down 3 percent from a year ago, the USDA said.

Soybeans stored in all positions on 1 December totalled 2.34bn bushels, up 3% from December 2008. Soybean stocks stored on farms totalled 1.23bn bushels, up 4% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 1.11bn bushels, were up 2% from a year ago.

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By: Frank Zaworski
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