U.S. Corn Inventories Top Forecasts; Futures Slump

Domestic corn inventories on Sept. 1 were larger than forecast by analysts, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Prices headed for the biggest drop in more than a week after the report.

Stockpiles in the U.S., the world’s biggest grower, totaled 824 million bushels, down from 989 million (25.1 million metric tons) a year earlier and up from 661 million estimated earlier this month, the USDA said today in a report. Analysts in a Bloomberg News survey expected 694 million, on average.

About 1.94 billion bushels were consumed in the three months ended Aug. 31, down from 2.16 billion a year earlier. Reserves held on farms totaled 275 million bushels, compared with 314 million a year earlier. Supplies stored in commercial grain silos fell to 549 million bushels from 675 million.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1.2 percent to $4.4875 a bushel at 11:17 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest loss since Sept. 20. Through Sept. 27, prices tumbled 35 percent this year, the biggest drop among 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

The USDA earlier this month predicted a record harvest of 13.843 billion bushels, 28 percent above last year and up from 13.763 billion forecast in August. The agency will update its projections for major crops on Oct. 11.

(Corrects to show consumption fell from a year earlier in third paragraph.)
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