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News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.
on April 11, 2012

US corn surplus larger than expected on early harvest

Supplies still well below 2011 stocks

The U.S. corn surplus on August 31 will be larger than previously estimated as farmers begin harvesting early after a warmer-than-usual spring in the Midwest, and as more wheat is used to feed livestock, according to reports.

Unsold supplies will come to 801 million bushels, up from the average estimate of 715 million bushels, though still down from 2011's 1.128 billion bushels, said U.S. Department of Agriculture data. “The USDA is saying that rising wheat supplies will bridge the gap in corn supplies before the U.S. harvest begins,” said Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president of the Linn Group. “Corn supplies are tight, and that will increase attention on crop conditions and weather forecasts the next three months.” Corn futures for May delivery fell 1.4 percent to $6.49 a bushel On April 9 on the Chicago Board of Trade. The commodity has dropped 16 percent in the past year on forecasts that world wheat reserves will rise to the highest since 2002.

Estimates say that 4.6 billion bushels of corn will be used for animal feed, 5 billion for ethanol and 1.7 billion for exports. Global corn consumption will reach 867.29 million tons, an increase from 848.06 million last year, according to the USDA.

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