June 9, 2017 / 4:38 PM / in 4 months

U.S. wheat production outlook rising despite snow: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. wheat supplies will be bigger than expected despite a snowstorm in early May that analysts worried had severely damaged the crop in Kansas, the top producing state, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday.

Harvesters work on early crop of wheat farming harvested in the spring in the Central Valley in Davis, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. Picture taken May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

USDA boosted its forecast for U.S. winter wheat production to 1.250 billion bushels from 1.246 billion. It raised its yield projection in Kansas by 2 bushels per acre to 44.0 bushels per acre.

The government also said in its monthly supply and demand report that soybean stocks will swell by more than expected due to weakening soymeal usage that forced processing plants to slow down their crushing pace.

USDA left its outlook for corn stocks and production unchanged despite concerns about adverse weather hindering development of the recently seeded crop.

Domestic wheat ending stocks for the 2017/18 marketing year that began on June 1 were pegged at 924 million bushels, 10 million bushels higher than the government’s May estimate. The 2017/18 winter wheat production forecast was raised to 1.250 billion bushels from 1.246 billion.

Analysts had predicted the report would show winter wheat production sliding to 1.239 billion bushels, according to the average of estimates in a Reuters poll. U.S. wheat stocks for 2017/18 had been expected to come in at 911 million bushels.

USDA also raised its 2017/18 world wheat stocks projection to 261.19 million tonnes, above the high end of a range of analysts’ estimates, largely due to a bump of 2 million tonnes to its Russian production forecast.

For soybeans, USDA pegged U.S. 2016/17 ending stocks at 450 million bushels, up 15 million bushels from its May outlook and bigger than the average of analysts’ estimates.

It cut its outlook for the 2016/17 soy crush by 15 million bushels to 1.910 billion bushels. Soymeal usage was lowered to 33.150 million tons from 33.500 million tons.

The government also raised its 2017/18 soybean ending stocks forecast by 15 million to account for the bigger carry-in from the 2016/17 crop year.

Global soybean ending stocks for 2016/17 were raised to 93.21 million tonnes, above analysts’ expectations. USDA raised its estimate of Brazil’s soybean crop to 114 million tonnes from 111.60 million tonnes.

U.S. corn ending stocks for both 2016/17 and 2017/18 were left unchanged at 2.295 billion bushels and 2.110 billion bushels, respectively. Analysts had been expecting corn ending stocks of 2.287 billion bushels for 2016/17 and 2.085 billion bushels for 2017/18.

Reporting by Mark Weinraub; Editing by Paul Simao

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