Quarterly US stocks set to decline, wheat planting favors soft red

10 Jan 2023 | Mark Shenk, Tim Worledge

The USDA’s quarterly update of stocks, a key report the industry looks to through the year to gauge vital insights into consumption, exports and production, will be released alongside the Wasde on Thursday. 

US wheat stocks are expected to see a year-on-year contraction of 48 million bu (8.2 million mt), or 3.5%, to 1.33 billion bu (38 million mt) for December 1, 2022.

Alongside stock data, the USDA will also release its first showing of the winter wheat plantings, with analysts broadly looking for an increase in the planted area and a slight skew towards soft red winter wheat over hard red.

Overall, analysts are looking for winter wheat planted area to increase by 1.4 million acres to 34.7 million acres, up 4.2% year-on-year, with increases seen in soft red winter (4.4%) and white winter (2.8%) planted area.

Soft red winter is expected to be planted on 6.86 million acres, with white wheat planted on 3.7 million acres.

The area planed with hard red winter, however, is expected to contract slightly, slipping by 1.3% to 22.8 million acres, according to the poll.

For corn, stock levels as of December 1, 2022, are expected to decline by 718 million bu (18.2 million mt) despite expectations that corn production could push higher when the Wasde report is released.

Quarterly stocks for corn are projected to be reported at 10.93 billion bushels (277.48 million mt), compared to 11.64 billion bushels in 2021, according to analysts polled by Agricensus.

Finally, soybean stocks are expected to hold stable with only a 9 million bu (228,612 mt) decline versus the same period of 2022, with analysts looking for stocks to weigh in at 3.14 billion bu (79.8 million mt).