U.S. corn futures for December closed at $6.58 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on July 12, gaining 25.25 cents (4%) since June 29 and 68% from the same time in 2010.
Numbers have been affected by U.S. government predictions that corn stockpiles will be smaller than expected, with inventories before next year's harvest coming in at 870 million bushels, the lowest since 1996. Original estimates mentioned 1.029 billion bushels. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has said that a record 5.15 billion bushels of corn will be used to make ethanol, more than originally estimated.
At the same time, global corn consumption continues to rise. In the year that begins October 1, it will rise 4.1% to 877.6 million metric tons, up from an already record 842.8 million metric tons in the current year, according to the USDA. World inventories before the 2012 harvest will fall to 115.66 million metric tons and stockpiles will be equal about 13% of consumption, the lowest since 1974.