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USDA Report Worksheet, Positive News for RFS and Dangerously Cold Temps On The Way

Update for February 11, 2020

Today’s USDA report showed no major adjustments in the U.S. or the world grain balance sheets which was what most analysts had expected to see.


  • U.S. export demand was lowered by -50 million bushels but was offset by the increase in ethanol demand of +50 million bushels.

  • Globally, the ending stocks were reduced by -1MMT from a month ago.

  • Forecasted corn production for Brazil and Argentina was left unchanged.

  • The season average price held steady from the previous month at $3.85 per bushel.


  • U.S. soybean exports were raised by +50 million bushels which led to a reduction in ending stocks to 425 million bushels.

  • U.S. soybean crush numbers were left unchanged.

  • Soybean production in Brazil was increased by +2 MMT’s while Argentina’s production estimate was unchanged.

  • Global supplies grew by +2.2 MMT’s from a month ago due to larger available stocks in both China and Brazil.

  • The estimated U.S. season-average price for 2019/2020 was reduced by -$.25 to $8.75 per bushel.

Grain markets have been closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak for some time now and to some extent will continue to influence prices this week as will the updated USDA WASDE numbers. Next week, February 20th and 21st attention will shift to the Ag Outlook Forum where the 2020 new crop projections will be released.

Soybean harvest in Brazil is now estimated at 15.7% complete, slower than a year ago but very close to the historical average of 16.2%. Conab, the government statistics agency in Brazil, has raised both their corn and soybean crop estimates. The agency estimates the 2019/20 soybean crop at 123.250 MMT, a considerable increase from last year’s total of 115.030 MMT, due to strong early yield results and good weather across most of the country. Estimated corn production for 2019/20 saw an even more impressive jump from 98.711 MMT last month to 100.486 MMT which is likely due to the larger than expected second season corn crop. Even with the steep increase in production Conab forecasts a reduction in corn exports of -7.173 MMT from the previous marketing year.

American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier has also raised his Brazilian soybean crop estimate this season to 124 MMT. He left his previous corn estimate of 100 MMT unchanged but also noted that Safrinha corn acres are still to be determined. For the crop in Argentina Cordonnier left his estimates unchanged noting that the corn crop “is not doing quite as well as the soybeans because some of the corn was pollinating and filling grain earlier in the growing when the weather was drier.”

(Source: Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.)

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler was interviewed last Saturday on AgWired where he told listeners that the recent federal court decision that determined three SRE’s were invalid could completely change the small refinery program. He said, “The court struck down waivers for three refineries in Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming, ruling that the EPA could extend exemptions for plants that had continuously received waivers from their RFS obligations. The decision was a victory for corn growers and ethanol producers who have long challenged the legality of the EPA exemptions, which they say have crushed demand for their products.” According to Wheeler the agency is now “taking a close look at the 10th Circuit decision and the ramifications to the program.”

Get ready, “The coldest air mass of the season has broken lose and is headed south from the Arctic Ocean.”

This morning temperatures in Central Canada fell to the -30’s below zero. The cold air mass is forecast to moderate as it moves into the U.S. The Upper Midwest can expect the frigid temps to arrive Thursday/Thursday night and last into Friday morning.

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