Soybean inventories on Sept. 1 totaled 169 million bushels, down from 215 million a year earlier, the USDA said. The average analyst estimate was 130 million bushels. The department did not provide explanations for the changes in corn and soybean supplies.
Soybean consumption in the final quarter of the year ended Aug. 31 rose to 498 million bushels from 405 million a year earlier, the USDA said. The department raised its 2011 production figure to 3.094 billion bushels, up 1.2 percent from its Sept. 12 estimate. It also increased the yield estimate for last year’s crop to 41.9 bushels per acre from 41.5 bushels, and raised the figures for planted and harvested acreage.
“Soybeans supplies will be tight for the next six months,” Dave Marshall, a farm marketing adviser for Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said before the report. “Supplies in South America are headed for a record, and people are shifting their focus to the start of the planting season this month in Argentina and Brazil.”
Soybean futures for November delivery fell 0.1 percent to $15.6975 a bushel in Chicago. The commodity has tumbled 13 percent since reaching a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.
About 2.634 billion bushels are expected to be harvested this year, the USDA said in a Sept. 12 report. The figure is 15 percent smaller than today’s revised estimate for 2011.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.