U.S. corn production will crack the 14-billion-bushel mark for the first time in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday, but the crop was slightly below trade expectations, potentially giving a bullish kick to the beaten-down corn futures market.
At 14.03 billion bushels, the estimated crop fell short of trade estimates averaging 14.25 billion, and forecast ending stocks of 1.8 billion bushels were also below forecasts.
USDA estimated the U.S. soybean crop at a record of 3.82 billion bushels, up 16 percent on the year and close to trade expectations, paving the way for ending stocks to more than triple in 2014/15 from the tightest in four decades.
At the start of this week 73 percent of corn and 71 percent of soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition, and development was moving ahead at a normal pace.
For now, most of the Corn Belt has ample moisture to support crop development in the final weeks of maturation.
Overall corn yields will be a record 167.4 bushels per acare, with 11 states expected to post new yield marks.
Aug. 1 data indicated the highest number of ears on record for the ten key corn producing states, USDA said.
Seven states are on pace for record high soybean yields, USDA said, including No. 1 producer Illinois.
U.S. wheat production was pegged at 2.029 billion bushels, up 2 percent on the month.