US farmers plan to cut their seedings of both corn and wheat in 2022 even as domestic wheat supplies are at their lowest in 14 years and demand for both grains is rising following Russia's invasion of Ukraine that disrupted shipments from those key suppliers.
Growers were planning to plant their largest soybean acreage ever, the US Agriculture Department said on Thursday, as the high input costs associated with growing corn and wheat made the oilseed a more attractive crop.
"When we saw the (fertiliser) price really skyrocket starting last fall, producers were looking for alternatives," said Brian Basting, analyst with Advance Trading. "They were looking at the attractive oilseed price too."
The data exacerbates concerns about wheat shortages in importing nations and soaring food inflation.
Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures soared to session highs after the data was released while soybean futures, which had been trading in positive territory, turned lower.
Annual Prospective Plantings
USDA said in its annual prospective plantings report that farmers planned to seed 89.490 million acres of corn, down from 93.357 million in 2021.
The acreage view was below the low end of estimates in a Reuters poll.
Soybean seedings were seen rising to 90.955 million acres from 87.195 million and spring wheat plantings were seen down 1.9% to 11.200 million acres.
The United States plants the majority of its wheat in the fall.
"We're pretty much going to need every acre that USDA reported this year in order to meet demand," said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst, Futures International.
U.S. wheat stocks as of 1 March stood at 1.025 billion bushels, a drop of 21.8% from a year earlier and the lowest for the time period since 2008.
Corn stocks were pegged at 7.850 billion bushels and soybean stocks at 1.931 billion bushels, USDA said.