CHICAGO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean and corn supplies
in September will be smaller than previously forecast due to a
reduced estimate of last fall's harvest, the U.S. Agriculture
Department said on Tuesday.
The crop revisions will intensify fears of shortages in
2021, after governments tried to lock in extra food supplies
amid the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted global supply chains
and thinned U.S. stockpiles.
Concerns about tight supplies have pushed Chicago Board of
Trade corn, soybean and wheat futures to
multi-year peaks in recent weeks and prices for all three
commodities surged to fresh highs, hitting levels not seen since
2014 as investors digested the data.
"The U.S. numbers are creating more of the sticker shock,
with USDA not only reducing 2020 supplies, or current crop year
supplies, but also realizing that demand - especially led by
beans - is fairly strong," said Terry Reilly, senior analyst
with Futures International.
USDA pegged the 2020/21 domestic soybean ending stocks
outlook at 140 million bushels, down from its December forecast
for 175 million, and corn ending stocks at 1.552 billion
bushels, down from 1.702 billion in December.
U.S. corn production for the 2020/21 marketing year was
pegged at 14.182 billion bushels and soybean production was
pegged at 4.135 billion bushels.
The soybean harvest view fell below the average of market
expectations, and corn production missed the low end of a range
of analysts' estimates in a Reuters poll.
USDA also lowered its forecast for upcoming harvests in key
export countries Brazil and Argentina.
Soybean production in top producer Brazil was pegged at
133.00 million tonnes, unchanged from the previous outlook.
Brazil's corn harvest was seen at 109.00 million tonnes.
In Argentina, where farmers have struggled with drought
throughout the growing season, USDA predicted a soybean harvest
of 48.00 million tonnes and a corn harvest of 47.50 million
(Additional reporting by Tom Polansek
Editing by Caroline Stauffer and Peter Graff)