NAPERVILLE, Illinois, June 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) June supply and demand report could be more interesting than normal as the grain market has been rife with developments over the past few weeks, including a state of emergency in top wheat exporter Russia.

Analysts expect USDA’s global wheat, corn and soybean supply estimates for 2024-25 will shrink from last month when the agency publishes its data on Wednesday at noon EDT (1600 GMT).

Chicago wheat futures bounced 3% on Tuesday after nine consecutive losing sessions, but corn and soybeans were down fractionally as those U.S. crops are off to a great start.

USDA’s June report by itself is not overly impactful on futures, but its overlap with a critical U.S. crop weather period can create volatility. Forecasts suggest the U.S. Corn Belt could be in for a hot and dry stretch through late June, stressing crops and maintaining some degree of uncertainty.


Russian wheat crop estimates started plunging right after USDA’s May report, so a sizable reduction from the agency could be in store. Consultancies IKAR and SovEcon since May 10 have each cut their harvest pegs by 10%, or between 8.9 million and 9.5 million metric tons.

USDA set 2024-25 Russian wheat production last month at 88 million tons, not including the Crimean Peninsula. The Russian consultancies’ estimates do include Crimea and currently sit between 80.7 million and 81.5 million tons with potential further downside.

That downside may already be justified as Russia on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in southern Rostov, Russia’s No. 1 wheat-growing region, due to drought. Crop losses there could be as much as 30%, a much larger area than has been previously suggested by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Turkey’s ban on wheat imports until October could counter Russian crop losses on the balance sheet. USDA has Turkey as the fourth-largest importer in 2024-25 with 10.5 million tons, though Turkey’s latest move aims to protect the domestic market.

India could offset some of the lost Turkish demand, and Russian grain exporters are already eyeing Indian business. USDA last month allocated negligible wheat imports to India in 2024-25 despite recent reports to the contrary.

The U.S. wheat crop is seen inching up 1% from last month’s estimates. Analysts see global 2024-25 wheat stocks down 1% or 2.4 million tons from the May outlook.


USDA in May cut its 2023-24 Argentina corn crop estimate to 53 million tons from 55 million in April, though Argentine grain exchange estimates currently center around 47 million. Those fell sharply in late April and early May due to a severe insect outbreak that has caused corn losses exceeding $2 billion.

Argentina’s corn harvest was 46% complete as of last Thursday versus 29% on May 9. Brazil’s heavily exported second corn crop was 10.4% harvested as of Thursday, the fastest pace in at least a decade.

The trade is looking for a 1-million-ton cut to Brazil’s 2023-24 corn crop after a 2-million-ton reduction last month, though Brazil’s soybean crop is seen declining by 2.2 million tons. USDA in May downsized Brazil’s soy crop by 1 million tons due to flooding in Rio Grande do Sul.

Crop agency Emater earlier this month pegged Rio Grande do Sul’s soy crop losses at 2.71 million tons. Brazil’s Conab will be out early on Thursday with its monthly estimates, which remain significantly below those of USDA.

Relative to expectations, U.S. soybean export demand for the upcoming 2024-25 season is the lowest in 23 years, including zero sales explicitly to China. But USDA has not reduced new-crop soybean exports in June since 2012, even holding off on necessary reductions in June 2018, when the U.S.-China trade war was imminent and soy prices were crashing.

But U.S. soybean trade to China is not completely dead, as two 104,000-ton, old-crop soy sales to China have been confirmed within the past three trade sessions. That activity is somewhat rare, as those are the largest daily old-crop soybean sales to China during June in five years. Karen Braun is a market analyst for Reuters. Views expressed above are her own. (Editing by Rod Nickel)