August 13, 2004



USDA Lowers 2004-05 US Soybean Production, Yield Forecasts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday lowered its production forecast for the new U.S. soybean crop in its monthly supply and demand report despite analyst expectations for an increase.
The USDA, after completing its first survey for the 2004-05 soybean crop, put production at just 2.877 billion bushels, down from the July forecast of 2.94 billion bushels which was based on trend yields. Industry analysts generally expected a mildly higher forecast from USDA for the 2004-05 crop of 2.965 billion bushels.
Still, the USDA stressed in its monthly crop production report that the current 2004-05 forecast is "up 19% from 2003 and 4% from 2002. If realized, this would be the second largest U.S. soybean production on record."
The USDA, also contrary to analyst expectations, lowered its forecast for 2004-05 soybean yield. The new prediction for yield average is 39.1 bushels per acre, down from the July prediction of 39.9 bushels.
Analysts had generally expected the USDA to raise that forecast in August to above 40 bushels per acre. However, the USDA stressed in the supply and demand report that 2004-05 yields are still expected to be strong "compared with last year's drought-reduced yield of 33.4 bushels per acre."
Exports of new crop U.S. soybeans are forecast at 1.03 billion bushels, a 20-million-bushel reduction from last month's forecast, but still significantly higher than the 890 million for 2003-04.

Source: USDA