Corn prices got at least a reprieve from its 40% decline from a year ago on the news that USDA lowered ending stocks to 13.9 billion bushels, a drop of 64 million bushels from previous estimates. But the bump in corn prices probably won’t be enough to impact the sales of farm machinery, according to industry analysts.
Not only was corn’s estimated average yield lowered to 158.8 bushels per acre from 160.4 bushels, but USDA also increased its domestic demand levels by 100 million bushels. Harvested acres were also increased to 436,000 acres, according to the World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) issued by USDA on January 10.
The ag agency narrowed its corn price range to $4.10-4.70 per bushel from $4.05-4.75 per bushel. “The corn yield reduction was a surprise, which afforded corn prices some relief off of even further depressed levels in recent days,” Steve Fisher of UBS said in a note.
“We still believe lower corn prices this year could drive a single digit decline in crop receipts and in turn drive a larger decline in ag equipment. All else being equal, we expect the decline in ag equipment sales to accelerate to double digit levels in 2014,” Fisher said.
Meanwhile, the outlook for soybeans and wheat produced no measurable changes in the overall forecast. USDA now forecasts a soybean price range of $11.75-$13.25, narrowed from $11.50-$13.50. The price range for wheat was also narrowed to $6.60-$7.00 from $6.65-$7.15.
C. Schon Williams, analyst for BB&T Capital Markets, added, “Based on the latest WASDE release, our estimates now indicate that farm cash receipts will be –14% year-over-year during the 2013-14 growing season. As a result, we maintain our negative bias on ag machinery.”