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According to the October 11th 2018 WASDE Report #582, 81.8 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2018 to produce 14.78 Billion bushels. The soybean crop is projected to attain 4.69 Billion bushels from 88.2 million acres harvested. The levels of production for the two commodities is based on revised projections of yield and acreage harvested. Ending stocks were revised based on anticipated domestic use and exports.


Quarterly corn and soybean stocks were estimated by USDA in a release on September 28th to total 2.14 Billion bushels (14.7 percent of the 2017 harvest) and 0.44 Billion bushels (10.0 percent of 2017 harvest) respectively. Of the “old soy crop” 0.10 Billion bushels are held as on-farm storage, up 15 percent from the corresponding period in 2017. Off-farm storage is up 58 percent to 0.34 billion bushels. Disappearance from June to August was 0.78 Billion bushels, up 18 percent from the corresponding period in 2017. This reflects accelerated shipments in anticipation of increased tariffs imposed by China. Since August soybean exports to China have ceased.


The following quotations for the months as indicated were posted by the CME at close of trading on November 2nd together with values for the corresponding months in parentheses indicating an upturn in prices after declines during the previous week.




Corn (cents per bushel)

Dec.’18   371   (367)        

March ‘19  383  (379)

Soybeans (cents per bushel)

Nov. ’18  874  (846)*   

March ’19  899  (872)      

Soybean meal ($ per ton)

Dec.  ‘18  311  (308)*

March ’19  315  (311)

*values reflect 2017 harvest


Changes in the price of corn, soybeans and soybean meal were:-


Corn:                      Dec. quotation up 4 cent per Bu.                        (+1.1 percent)

Soybeans:               Nov. quotation up 29 cents per Bu.                     (+3.4 percent)

Soybean Meal:         Dec.  quotation up $3 per ton                             (+1.0 percent)                                

  • For each 10 cent per bushel change in corn:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.45 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight

  • For each $10 per ton change in the price of soybean meal:-

The cost of egg production would change by 0.40 cent per dozen

The cost of broiler production would change by 0.25 cent per pound live weight


Markets were essentially unaffected by release of the October WASDE. There is no immediate prospect of resolving the trade dispute with China before the 2018 harvest is completed. The Administration previously announced that negotiations are underway to arrange a meeting between President Trump and Premier Xi in late November but there has been no confirmation of a specific date or agenda. Markets fluctuated in response to conflicting messages from the White House concerning possible resolution of trade issues with China.


The financial future for row-crop farmers appears bleak despite the promise of $12 billion as “short-term” compensation. Recent comments from the USDA suggest that this value may be trimmed. Farmers will not be placated by the promise of a year-round E-15 blend since the logistic problems of delivery to consumers and legal challenges will delay any positive price benefit. The loss inflicted on farmers by the trade war with China is a gain for livestock producers who will benefit from lower feed costs. Of course the hog and poultry industries have experienced higher costs for a decade as a result of the RFS, a gift which keeps on giving. The RFS is a boon to Midwest politicians, corn growers and ethanol refiners at the expense of anyone in the U.S. who eats or uses any form of transport.


See the WASDE posting summarizing the October 11th USDA-WASDE Report #582 under the STATISTICS tab documenting price projections and quantities of commodities to be produced, used and exported from the 2018 harvest.