CHICAGO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - U.S. corn and soybean stockpiles
this marketing year will fall to their smallest in seven years
due to reduced harvest expectations and strong exports, the
government said on Tuesday.
The stocks figures were smaller than expected and analysts
said supplies could tighten further as overseas buyers look to
hoard commodities and secure their food supplies as COVID-19
cases rise globally, spurring fears of supply chain disruptions.
"Crops keep getting smaller and ending stocks keep getting
smaller," said Don Roose, president of brokerage U.S.
Commodities. "This now puts huge importance on South America
getting a big crop."
Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures surged to their
highest since July 5, 2016, while corn futures hit their
highest since Aug. 9, 2019.
In its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand
Estimates report, the U.S. Agriculture Department pegged 2020/21
U.S. corn ending stocks at 1.702 billion bushels and soybean
ending stocks at 190 million bushels. The U.S. corn harvest was
seen at 14.507 billion bushels and the soybean harvest at 4.170
Rising export demand from China and South Korea also
pressured corn's balance sheet. USDA boosted its outlook for
U.S. corn exports by 325 million bushels to 2.650 billion.
It raised its 2020/21 corn import projections for China to
13 million tonnes from its previous outlook of 7 million tonnes.
"They finally got in the real world with China," said Jim
Gerlach, president of A/C Trading. That's too low, but at least
they're finally headed in the right direction."
Earlier this month, a USDA attache report from Beijing said
it expected China to import 22 million tonnes of corn, amid a
surge in animal feed demand and after storms and drought damage
tightened domestic supplies.
Analysts had been expecting corn stocks of 2.033 billion
bushels and a harvest of 14.659 billion bushels, according to
the average of estimates in a Reuters poll. Traders estimated
soybean stocks of 235 million bushels and a harvest of 4.251
(Additional reporting by Karl Plume and Tom Polansek; Editing
by Caroline Stauffer, Chris Reese and Paul Simao)