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U.S. Corn Surplus Estimate Cut on Global Livestock-Feed Demand

Unsold supplies of U.S. corn before next year’s harvest will be smaller than forecast a month ago and below analysts’ estimates, the government said. Global livestock-feed makers boosted purchases of American grain as prices fell to a three-year low.

The corn surplus on Aug. 31, the end of the marketing year, will be 1.792 billion bushels, down from 1.887 billion forecast in November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected inventories to fall to 1.864 billion bushels, on average.

Corn prices plunged 37 percent this year to $4.38 a bushel through yesterday on the Chicago Board of Trade, as U.S. production jumped 30 percent to a record 13.989 billion bushels. Corn at the farm gate may average $4.05 to $4.75 in the 12 months that began Sept. 1, compared with $4.10 to $4.90 forecast in November, the USDA said.

The department raised its estimates for both exports and ethanol consumption. Forecast exports rose 50 million bushels from the November projection to 1.45 billion bushels, while biofuels, the biggest use for the grain after animal feed, also rose 50 million bushels, to 4.95 billion bushels.

World output in the year that began Oct. 1 will be 964.28 million tons, compared with 962.83 million forecast a month earlier and up from 862.88 million a year earlier, the USDA said. Global inventories before the start of the Northern Hemisphere harvests in 2014 will be 162.46 million tons, compared with 164.33 million projected in November. Traders forecasted a drop to 164.17 million, on average.

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