USDA: The Trade Awaits

Here we go again then, the global grain trade hanging on the word of a bunch of buffoons with a Spectrum ZX and some coloured pencils. No sharpeners of course, they aren't allowed sharpeners in there.

The general concensus is that the early start to plantings this spring will have led to a bit more corn going in than was anticipated back in March. Soybean and wheat area is seen broadly little changed.

You will note though that we have roughly a 2 million acre spead between the range of guesses for both beans and corn, that does leave room for a bit of a surprise for one or the other.

You may recall it was surprises all round last June when the USDA found a million more wheat acres, one and a half million more soybean acres AND two million more corn acres than they had in March. No losses just gains all round.

Last year the corn number was the biggest surprise of all, coming in a million acres higher than the highest trade estimate, and two and a half million above the average trade guess.

Here's a note of what is expected from them on Wednesday:

June Acreage (million acres):
Avg Est Range Mar USDA 2009
Soybeans 78.183 76.528-78.900 78.100 77.500
Corn 89.229 88.100-90.153 88.800 86.500
All wheat 53.825 53.500-54.087 53.800 59.133
June 1st Stocks (billion bushels):
Soybeans 0.594 0.580-0.620 1.270 0.596
Corn 4.598 4.459-4.784 7.694 4.261
Wheat 0.940 0.929-0.950 1.352 0.657

However, bearing in mind what happened last year, anything is possible. Here's an exclusive picture taken from inside USDA HQ as their analysts put the finishing touches to their estimates over the weekend: