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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's January crop reports, which included updated estimates for 2012 corn and soybean harvests and for winter wheat seedings, could be the rare case where a USDA release actually sparks a change in market trend, according to DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom.
"All three grains were poised for a bullish turn heading into the reports, with only soybeans failing to post gains now that the numbers are in the rearview mirror," Newsom, a CME Group featured contributor, wrote after the USDA reports were released January 11.
The USDA unexpectedly hiked its estimate of the 2012 U.S. corn crop, but also pegged domestic stockpiles of the grain below trader expectations while trimming the supply outlook later this year. The prospect for historically tight supplies helped boost CME Group corn futures, which have slipped from a record peak late last summer, to the highest close in over three weeks.
Wheat futures also settled higher, partly on the USDA's lower-than-expected projection for 2012-13 winter crop seedings. But the bulk of the buying in wheat futures "came from the idea there wasn't anything incredibly bearish in the reports," Newsom said.
Click here for a replay of a DTN webinar on the market implications of the USDA reports.