Corn Outlook Raised by IGC, Wheat Crop Seen 4% Higher in 2013-14

World wheat production is forecast to climb about 4 percent in the 2013-14 crop year, with most of the increase absorbed by rising demand, the International Grains Council said.

The outlook for this season’s corn crop was raised from a month ago on an improved outlook for Brazil, which is expected to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest shipper of the grain, the London-based IGC wrote in an e-mailed report today.

Wheat prices in Chicago are up 16 percent from a year ago, while corn has gained 9.2 percent. U.S. farmers may plant corn on 96.5 million acres, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 97.73 million, the highest since 1936.

For corn, “planting of the 2013-14 crop will soon commence in the Northern Hemisphere and the global area is tentatively forecast up 0.6 percent year-on-year led by an anticipated further expansion in the U.S.,” the IGC wrote.

World corn output may total 850.2 million metric tons in the 2012-13 season, from a Jan. 17 estimate of 844.7 million tons, the IGC wrote. The harvest is still forecast to drop from 876.9 million tons a year earlier.

The outlook for Brazil’s corn production was lifted by 3 million tons to 74 million tons, while predictions for the country’s exports were lifted by a similar amount to 26 million tons. The forecast for U.S. shipments was cut to 23.5 million tons, 1.5 tons less than predicted in January.

Global corn inventories may drop to 114 million tons by the end of the season, up 1 million tons from last month’s expectation. Ending stocks for major exporters are forecast to be at a 16-year low, the IGC said.

Ending Stocks

World production of wheat may be 656 million tons, little changed from the council’s previous forecast. Ending stocks are predicted to be 176 million tons, 2 million tons more than the January outlook.

For 2013-14, wheat ending stocks are expected to climb by 2 million tons, according to the council. Supplies from Black Sea producers will probably be capped by below-average beginning stocks, it said.

Soybean production in 2012-13 may be 269 million tons, 2 million tons less than previously expected, the IGC said. The global rice harvest may amount to 466 million tons, compared with a January prediction of 464 million tons.

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