Corn Futures Drop Most in Eight Months as U.S. Boosts Inventory Estimate

Corn prices fell the most in more than eight months after the U.S., the biggest grower and exporter, said inventories before the harvest rose to the highest level since 2006.

Stockpiles on Sept. 1 totaled 1.708 billion bushels, up 2 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts in a Bloomberg News survey expected 1.407 billion, on average. Corn usage in the three months ended Aug. 31 was 2.6 billion bushels, up from 2.59 billion a year earlier.

The inventory number “is a negative surprise, and the market is adjusting to more of a supply cushion,” said Dale Durchholz, the senior market analyst for Agrivisor LLC in Bloomington, Illinois. “It’s like adding 2 million acres to this year’s harvest.”

Corn futures for December delivery fell 23.5 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $4.815 a bushel at 10 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would be the biggest drop since Jan. 12. Earlier, the grain touched $4.7825, the lowest level since Sept. 13.

Before today, corn surged 35 percent since the end of June, reaching a two-year high on Sept. 27, on speculation that hot, dry weather in August and flooding in June damaged U.S. crops. The commodity reached a record $7.9925 on June 27, 2008,

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $48.6 billion in 2009, government figures show.

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