U.S. corn acreage will be the second largest this year, since 1944, as farm profits surged while the rising demand for food and fuel caused cuts in world stockpiles. Soybean acres are predicted to decline, as wheat is expected to advance.
Nearly 92.178 million acres will be planted with corn, up 4.5 per cent from 88.192 million last year, and exceeding the 91.751 million as predicted by analysts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report based on a farmer survey. Futures rose 87 per cent in the past year in Chicago, as the USDA said that unfavorable weather and increase in demand would cut the world inventories to the lowest in four years.
At the opening of the Chicago Board of Trade at 9:30 a.m. local time, corn futures may advance as much as 30 cents a bushel, the exchange limit, after inventories lagged behind the estimates by analysts, said Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa.
The U.S. corn stockpiles were 6.523 billion bushels as of March, 1, down 15 percent from a year ago, which is lower than the 6.688 billion forecast by analysts, the USDA said in a separate report today.
The USDA said that farmers will cut soybean acres by 1 percent, to 76.609 million, close to analysts’ prediction. Total wheat acres may rise 8.2 per cent from last year to 58.021 million, as compared to the analysts’ expectations of 57.239 million. Some 14.427 million acres is going to be planted with spring wheat, up 5.3 per cent from 2010, according to the department.
Roose also said that soybean futures may increase by the CBOT limit of 70 cents a bushel as supplies diminish. Wheat may advance 30 cents to 40 cents a bushel, he added.
The rise in crop prices will elevate the U.S. farm income to $94.7 billion this year, which is the highest ever, the USDA said on February, 14, whereas the global food costs climbed to a record last month, according to the United Nations.