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Higher grain stocks ease supply worries

In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

In its Grain Stocks report, the USDA said that corn, wheat and soybean stocks were all larger than expected, at least temporarily easing supply worries.

The USDA said that U.S. corn inventories had fallen to 5.40 billion bushels, down 600 million from a year ago, but well above the average trade forecast of 5.03 billion. Separately, in its Prospective Plantings report, the USDA projected 2013/2014 corn acres at 97.28 million, potentially the largest acreage since 1936. The USDA also increased 2013/2014 planted winter wheat acreage by 168,000 acres to 41.99 million, compared with 41.32 million a year earlier.

In addition, corn futures declined the $0.40 limit to $6.95 post-report on Thursday, and are likely headed lower this week. The December new-crop corn contract dropped to $5.42, and wheat futures dropped from $7.36 to $6.87 per bushel. However, spring weather will still determine the fate for U.S. grains crops this year.

Contact John T. Barone at [email protected].

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