U.S. corn inventories are estimated to triple before the 2014 harvest, hitting a record 2.177 billion bushels from the 17-year low of 632 million bushels anticipated in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest report. Yields could average 163.6 bushels per acre after falling to 123.4 bushels per acre in 2012, and corn production will rise 35 percent to a record 14.53 billion bushels as consumption increases 16 percent, said the report.


Corn prices paid to farmers in the 12 months that begins September 1, will average $4.80 per bushel, down from a record $7.20 forecast in 2013. An increase in exports and use in domestic grain-based ethanol will be countered by declining gasoline consumption and increasing output in Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and India, said Peter Riley, an economist at the USDA's Farm Serve Agency. “The world market has changed as high U.S. prices have led to increased exports by other suppliers,” said Riley. “Falling U.S. gasoline consumption will restrain ethanol production. Brazil is shipping more to the U.S.”

Through February 21, corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade dropped 19 percent from a record $8.49 on August 10. The contract for May delivery rose 0.7 percent to $6.905 per bushel at 10:02 a.m.