U.S. Raises Corn-Crop Estimate to Record 13.989 Billion Bushels

Corn production in the U.S., the world’s top grower and shipper, will be the largest ever this year while stronger exports will contribute to smaller-than-expected inventories next year.

Farmers will collect a record 13.989 billion bushels, up from 13.843 billion (351.63 million metric tons) estimated in September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in report today in Washington. The average projection of 36 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was 14.029 billion, up from 10.78 billion in 2012. The USDA report is its first in two months, after canceling the October assessment during a partial government shutdown.

Reserves on Aug. 31, 2014, before next year’s harvest, will be 1.887 billion bushels, up from 1.855 billion forecast in September, the USDA today in a report. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projected 2.044 billion, on average.

Export expectations were raised 14 percent to 1.4 billion bushels, as lower prices for the grain are making U.S. corn more competitive abroad, the USDA said.

Average yields this year will be 160.4 bushels an acre, compared with 155.3 bushels estimated two months ago and 123.4 bushels in 2012, the agency said after completing its third survey of farmers and fields this season. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projected 159.2 bushels, on average.

World output in the year that begins Oct. 1 will be 962.83 million tons, compared with 956.67 million forecast two months earlier, the USDA said. Global inventories before the start of the Northern Hemisphere harvests in 2014 will be 164.33 million tons, compared with 151.42 million projected in September. Traders forecast a gain to 155.19 million, on average.

Corn at the farm gate may average between $4.10 and $4.90 in the 12 months that began Sept. 1, compared with $4.40 to $5.20 forecast in September, the USDA said.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.