By Katie Micik
DTN Markets Editor
OMAHA (DTN) -- Private analytical firm Informa Economics increased its expectations for Brazil's soybean crop to 88 million metric tons, which would be 6.5 mmt above 2012-13 production and in line with USDA's November forecast.
Informa pegged Argentina's soybean production at 59.5 mmt, which, if realized, would be 10.2 mmt more than last year's harvest. By comparison, USDA estimated Argentina's crop at 53.5 mmt last month.
Brazilian soybean acreage is likely to increase 5.9% to 29.35 million hectares, or about 72.5 million acres, Informa said. Planted area in Argentina is likely to be 8.8% larger than last season at 21.8 million hectares, or 53.9 million acres.
Brazilian planting is about 85% complete, about average, while Argentina planting is 54% complete, slightly behind last year's pace, Informa said.
"Informa's world crop estimates pegged world soybean production at 289.7 mmt in 2013, up significantly from USDA's estimate of 283.5 mmt in November," DTN Analyst Todd Hultman said. "If USDA makes a similar adjustment, it is slightly bearish for the soybean market, but not enough to have a significant impact on prices as the supply situation in the U.S. is clearly bullish and not likely to change for the next several months."
USDA will release its next round of supply and demand estimates on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 11 a.m. CST. USDA will also release a crop production report that day, but its contents will be limited to cotton production forecasts. The next major report for U.S. row crops will be the Annual Crop Summary that'll be released on Jan. 10, 2014.
Informa's world crop estimate of corn totaled 966.8 mmt, up from USDA's November estimate of 962.8 mmt. "That adds to the current bearish arguments for corn after this fall's record U.S. harvest of 13.99 billion bushels," Hultman said.
South American corn production is likely to fall from last year's totals, Informa said. All corn production in Brazil is forecast 70.6 mmt, which would be 10.7 mmt below 2012. Brazil's second crop, or safrina, corn production is expected to be larger than main crop production this year at 38.8 mmt and 31.8 mmt respectively. USDA pegged Brazilian corn production at 70 mmt in its last report.
Informa forecasts Argentine corn harvest at 25 mmt, which would be 1.5 mmt lower than last year. A wet planting season contributed to a five-week planting delay. Only 50% of the crop has been planted, Informa said.
Argentina's wheat harvest is getting underway, with about 50% of the crop at maturity and 20% of it harvested. Informa pegged the crop at 9.8 mmt, close to other market estimates, Hultman said. USDA pegged Argentina's wheat harvest at 11 mmt, and Hultman said that estimate could be reduced in the next WASDE report.
Informa pegged Australia's wheat crop at 26.2 mmt, higher than USDA's 25.5 mmt estimate.
"Informa's total wheat estimate of 707.5 mmt is up slightly from USDA's estimate of 706.4 mmt," Hultman said. "That's slightly bearish, but not apt to have much impact on current prices."
Katie Micik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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