US corn crop projected to be largest since 1937

30 March 2012 16:22  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US corn growers intend to plant 95.9m acres (38.8m ha) of corn in 2012, up 4% from last year and 9% higher than in 2010, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Friday.

If realised, the corn acres will represent the highest planted acreage in the US since 1937, when an estimated 97.2m acres were planted, the USDA said in its 30 March planting-intentions report for all crops.

Soybeans for 2012 are estimated at 73.9m acres, down 1% from last year and down 5% from 2010.

Following the release of the USDA report, commodity traders sent futures prices for corn, soybeans and wheat higher in early trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, as global supplies of grains and oilseeds are expected to continue to be tight because of higher projected uses for food, feed and fuel.

The USDA also reported that the nation's corn supply in March was down 8% from a year ago because of higher consumption.

In a quarterly report, USDA said there were 6bn bushels of corn in storage as of 1 March, about 2% less than traders expected.

The total amount of wheat planted is estimated at 55.9m acres, up 3% from 2011.

Winter wheat is at 41.7m acres, up 3% from last year but down 1% from the USDA's previous estimate.

Spring wheat is estimated at 12m acres, down 3% from 2011.

Strong global demand for grains and oilseeds amid tight supplies have supported higher prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops, providing farmers with the economic incentive to maximise the use of arable land.

By: Frank Zaworski
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