U.S. farmers intend to sow the fewest acres of corn in four years, a Department of Agriculture survey showed, as March 1 inventories in the world’s biggest grower and exporter jumped 30 percent from a year earlier.
U.S. farmers nearing the start of the northern hemisphere’s growing season will plant 91.691 million acres after sowing 95.365 million a year earlier, according to a survey of more than 84,000 growers released today in Washington. Traders surveyed by Bloomberg estimated 93.014 million, on average.
In a separate report, corn stockpiles on March 1 were 7.01 billion bushels, rebounding 30 percent from a year-earlier total of 5.4 billion bushels (137.2 million metric tons), the USDA said in the quarterly figures. The average estimate of 30 analysts was 7.098 billion, a Bloomberg survey showed. Usage from December through February was 3.45 billion bushels, compared with 2.63 billion a year earlier, the USDA said.
Supplies stored on farms rose 45 percent to 3.861 billion bushels from 2.669 billion a year earlier, the agency said. Corn held in commercial grain bins rose 15 percent to 3.145 billion bushels from 2.731 billion on March 1, 2013.
Through March 28, corn futures in Chicago gained 17 percent this year to $4.92 a bushel after domestic and overseas demand improved.