The Agriculture Department’s monthly crop report showed no change in the 2012 ending stocks forecast for corn and a slight decrease for soybeans compared to the prior month, says the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Identical to last month, corn ending stocks in the United States for the marketing year are projected to be tight at 647 million bushels, representing 21 days of supply. Globally, USDA pegged corn-ending stocks 14.7 million tons lower than the prior year, primarily due to the effect of the protracted drought in the United States.

While USDA did lower the global-ending stocks figure, the estimate of Chinese corn production was boosted by 8.8 million tons compared to last month; however, demand also increased so global stocks for corn are essentially unchanged.

Ending stocks for soybeans are projected to be 130 million bushels (about a 16-day supply), which Todd Davis, a senior economist with the AFBF, described as “incredibly tight.”

Global wheat stocks were projected down at 194.7 million tons, reflecting greatly reduced crops in the former Soviet Union, Australia and Argentina.

“Once again, all eyes turn to the Southern Hemisphere, as large corn and soybean crops there could ease the tight stock situation in the United States,” Davis explains. Soybean production in Argentina and Brazil is forecast 26% higher compared to the prior crop, which will be beneficial if realized.

“Market watchers will have a lot of information to chew on in early January,” Davis notes. 

USDA’s January report will provide the final production numbers for the 2012 crop. The estimate of grain stocks on Dec. 1 also will be released in January, in addition to an estimate of the U.S. acreage seeded to winter wheat.