U.S. Wheat Inventory Estimate Cut on Higher Livestock Feed Use

U.S. wheat inventories at the end of the marketing year on May 31 will be 3.5 percent smaller than forecast in January and lower than analysts expected, on higher expected feed use, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Supplies will total 691 million bushels (18.82 million metric tons), down from 716 million estimated a month ago and less than 743 million bushels a year earlier, the USDA said today in a report. The average expectation of 29 analysts was 717 million bushels.

About 375 million bushels will be used in animal feed, the USDA said, up from 350 million forecast in January, according to the report.

World inventories at the end of the year will be 176.73 million metric tons, up from the month-earlier estimate of 176.64 million, the USDA said.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $7.5925 a bushel at 8:21 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price was down 2.4 percent this year.

In the U.S., wheat is the fourth-largest crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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