09 February 2012 20:53 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US corn futures traded lower on Thursday after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said higher projected US corn exports will result in lower end-of-year inventories for the 2011-2012 corn crop year.
Commodity traders had a somewhat bearish reaction to the USDA report. At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, March corn closed the trading day at $6.36/bushel (€4.77/bushel), down 6 cents/bushel the prior day's close.
US corn exports are projected by the USDA in its February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Report to increase by 50m bushels over its January estimate for the current crop year, which runs from September to September. The USDA now projects US corn exports to total 12.705 bushels.
The end-of-year inventory projection is the amount of corn supply remaining at the end of the crop year after deducting amounts of corn used for livestock feed, food, biofuels and export.
The increase in exports would push corn end-of-year inventories down to 801m bushels, a 45m bushel decrease from the amount the USDA projected in January.
USDA also lowered its projection for Argentina corn production by 4m tonnes to 22m tonnes because high temperatures and extensive dryness during pollination in late December and early January resulted in irreversible damage to early-planted corn in the central growing region.
Global end-of-year supplies of corn are projected in February to decrease to 125m tonnes, down from the USDA's January estimate of 128m tonnes.
At 125m tonnes, global corn supplies would be the lowest since the 2006–2007 crop year, the USDA said.
($1 = €0.75)
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