The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) prospective plantings report was surprisingly bullish for maize and soya beans.

The 1 March report stated that US farmers intend to increase maize area by just 1% from 2020 to an estimated 91.1 million acres.

That increase of around 325,000 acres falls well below the trade estimate of around two million acres.

With higher competing prices, farmers are also moving to other crops, such as sunflowers, canola and sorghum.

Sorghum area was well above estimates at 6.94 million acres, some 1.12 million acres above last year.

Soya beans

The intended soya bean area also came as a surprise, estimated at 87.6 million acres.

This is nearly 2.4 million acres below the average trade guess of 89.99 million acres.

The planted wheat area for 2021 is estimated to be around 46.4 million acres, up 5% from 2020.

This is the fourth-lowest wheat area since records began in 1919.