Market Trends / Ingredients

Corn crop could be larger than expected, while soy and raisins could be smaller

The scorching drought across the U.S. has cut corn production to the lowest level in six years and soybeans to the lowest in nine years, the government forecast last week, but the corn crop is larger than expected, which may relieve tight supplies for the third year in a row.

The fall harvest is running faster than usual, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its corn forecast by less than 1%; traders had expected a cut of nearly 4% from August. The surplus at the end of this marketing year would be the smallest since 1996 but 24% larger than the trade expectation.

The Agriculture Department cut its forecast of the soybean crop by 2% from the August figure, twice the decrease expected by traders. The department said the carryover at the end of the marketing year would be the smallest in eight years, although slightly larger than expected.

Meanwhile, the raisin crop is moving fast in California’s San Joaquin Valley, as a near perfect growing season there generated quality, though not quantity. A lighter crop and increased labor costs will impact farmers' returns.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, projections for the 2012 raisin crop stand at 285,000 tons, substantially below last year's crop of 346,000 tons. As a result, the Raisin Bargaining Association board of directors voted to offer this year's crop at 95 cents/lb., 10 cents higher than last year. But even at that higher price, growers say they will make less money overall than in 2011.

Farmers have also had to offer significant increases in labor costs to attract workers. For example, pickers earned 25 cents to 27 cents per tray last year for traditionally harvested raisins. This year, they are earning 30 cents to 32 cents.

World wheat supplies, however, are only marginally lower despite the losses, says the USDA, and feed grain production also is down less than 1% compared to the August forecasts. The world wheat crop is down 5% from last year and coarse grains down 2.4%. World rice production is on par with last year.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Golden Boy Pies

For the complete story on Golden Boy Pies, see “The classic appeal of Golden Boy.”

4/14/15 2:00 pm EDT

Gluten Free: The Rising Growth Market

On April 14, Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery will launch its 2015 Editorial Webinar Series with a web event on how Gluten-Free is impacting the commercial snack and bakery market—the first of four scheduled web events.

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine

sfwb march 15

2015 March

March's Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery publication features our cover report: "Canyon Bakehouse redefines gluten-free" Plus Much More!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Sweet-Savory Flavor Combinations

When it comes to snacks, what’s your favorite sweet-savory flavor combination?
View Results Poll Archive


Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis

Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings.  The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook IconTwitter IconYoutube IconLinkedIn Icon

The Weekly Mix

Operations Weekly Logo

Written by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery editors, our Operations Weekly weekly enewsletter provides bakers and snack food manufacturers with up-to-the-minute news, ideas and industry trends.

Sign up today!