Corn Trades Near Three-Year Low as World Supplies Seen Building

Corn traded near a three-year low in Chicago on expectations the U.S. government will raise its estimate for global supplies of the grain as U.S. reserves climb at the fastest pace in 19 years.

Corn stockpiles as of Oct. 1 will probably rise to 163.1 million metric tons, the highest since 2001, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s report tomorrow at noon in Washington. The harvest rebounded last year after a drought in 2012 hurt crops.

“Tomorrow’s USDA report will be observed closely and the consensus is for an upward revision of soybean and corn stocks, both on a global level as well as for the U.S.,” Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in a market comment today.

Corn for delivery in March declined 0.4 percent to $4.155 a bushel by 6:26 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, headed for a third straight drop. Futures slumped to $4.14 yesterday, the lowest since Aug. 12, 2010.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of eight agricultural commodities fell yesterday to the lowest since July 2010, extending last year’s 22 percent decline, which was the biggest annual drop since 1981.

“Grain markets were pressured by general weakness in the commodity complex and fears of a bearish set of projections in Friday’s USDA report,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a report.

Record Harvest

Stockpiles of corn on Dec. 1 in the U.S., the world’s top grower, probably totaled 10.764 billion bushels (273.4 million tons), 34 percent more than a year earlier, according to the average of 24 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey. That would be the biggest gain for the date since 1994 as a record crop overwhelms increased demand for the grain used to make livestock feed and ethanol.

Wheat for delivery in March rose 0.1 percent $5.895 a bushel after slumping yesterday to $5.8675, the lowest for futures since December 2011. Milling wheat for the same delivery month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris fell 0.6 percent to 198.25 euros ($269.69) a ton after closing yesterday at 199.50 euros, the first settlement below 200 euros for the most-active contract since Oct. 17.

Global wheat reserves will rise 3.9 percent to 182.68 million tons from a year earlier, the Bloomberg survey showed.

Soybeans for delivery in March gained 0.6 percent to $12.765 a bushel in Chicago. Global reserves will rise 19 percent to 71.46 million tons from a year earlier on increasing supplies in South America, another Bloomberg survey showed.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at rpakiam@bloomberg.net; Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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