Corn Retreats as Slower U.S. Feed Demand May Boost Record Supply

January 15, 2014 05:27 AM

Corn declined for a second day on speculation that slower demand for livestock feed will increase supplies in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, where farmers collected a record crop last year.

The contract for March delivery lost as much as 0.2 percent to $4.305 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade and was at $4.3075 by 2:26 p.m. in Singapore. Prices rebounded from a 40- month low on Jan. 10 after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said domestic production and stockpiles were less than forecast by analysts.

The domestic hog-breeding herd fell last month and the cattle inventory on Dec. 1 was the second-smallest for that date since at least 1996, according to USDA data. Still, the agency last week raised its forecast for annual feed consumption to 5.3 billion bushels, the highest in six years.

When you "look at what animal numbers are doing in the U.S. across poultry, pork and beef, it’s hard to see why they’re increasing feed consumption by that much," said Paul Deane, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne, referring to the USDA’s feed forecast.

Farmers collected 13.925 billion bushels last year, less than the 13.989 billion estimated in December, the USDA said. Analysts in a Bloomberg survey expected 14.06 billion bushels. Stockpiles on Dec. 1 were 10.43 billion bushels. While that’s 30 percent larger than a year earlier, analysts expected a 34 percent jump.

Soybeans for March delivery were unchanged at $13.07 a bushel. Prices surged to $13.1675 yesterday, the highest since Dec. 26. Wheat was little changed at $5.785 a bushel. 

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