U.S. Soy-Crop Estimate Raised by USDA to 3.258 Billion Bushels

Soybean output in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, will be larger than the government forecast in September after rains in August and September boosted yields.

Farmers will harvest 3.258 billion bushels this year, compared with 3.149 billion (85.7 million metric tons) estimated in September and last year’s drought-damaged crop of 3.034 billion, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News expected 3.215 billion. The report is the USDA’s first in two months, after canceling the October assessment during a government shutdown.

Yields were forecast at 43 bushels an acre, compared with 42.3 bushels expected by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. In September, the government predicted 41.2 bushels, up from 39.8 a year earlier. Harvested acreage was forecast at 75.688 million acres, compared with 76.378 estimated two months earlier and 76.164 million in 2012, the agency said.

U.S. reserves on Aug. 31, 2014, before next year’s harvest, will total 170 million bushels, up from 150 million in September, the agency said. The average estimate of 35 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 177 million bushels.

Global output in the crop year that began Oct. 1 will be 283.54 million metric tons, compared with 281.66 million forecast in September, the USDA said. Worldwide inventories before the start of the 2014 Northern Hemisphere harvest will be 70.23 million tons, down from 71.54 million predicted two months earlier, the USDA said. Traders expected reserves to rise to 72.4 million, on average.

The USDA forecast the average domestic farm-gate price in the marketing year that began Sept. 1 at $11.15 to $13.15 a bushel compared with $11.50 to $13.50 estimated in September.

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