March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures rose the most in seven weeks after the government raised its forecast for U.S. animal- feed demand, leaving the inventory estimate at a 17-year low. Soybeans fell, and wheat gained.
The amount of corn used for animal feed in the year ending Aug. 31 will be 2.2 percent more than forecast a month ago as beef, chicken, turkey and milk production climbs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report. Stockpiles will drop to 632 million bushels, the lowest since 1996, the USDA said.
"Corn supplies are going to stay very tight until the start of harvesting in August," Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. "There is no slowdown evident in livestock-feed usage.".
Corn futures for May delivery rose 1.8 percent to $7.035 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest increase for a most-active contract since Jan. 14. The grain fell 0.7 percent this week on signs of declining exports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper last year.
Combined global reserves of corn, sorghum, barley and other feed grains will fall 11 percent to 145.73 million metric tons from a year earlier, the USDA said today.
Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $14.71 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $14.8475, the highest since Feb. 22. This week, the oilseed rose 1.9 percent on demand in China following shipping delays in Brazil.
The USDA said today that global inventory before the start of the harvest will rise more than estimated. Aggregate worldwide stockpiles as of Aug. 31 will be 60.21 million tons, up 0.1 percent from the forecast in February and 8.8 percent from a year earlier.
Wheat futures for May delivery gained 0.2 percent to $6.97 a bushel. This week, the price dropped 3.3 percent. On March 6, the grain touched $6.80, the lowest since June 22, after rain and snow boosted prospects for the U.S. winter crop that farmers will begin harvesting in late May.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coverage, Analysis of the March 8 USDA Reports
See all of the data, coverage and analysis of the WASDE and Crop Production reports.