(Updates with inventories starting in first paragraph.)
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Corn will be more plentiful in the 2013-14 season than predicted a month ago as a higher outlook for the U.S. helps to lift major exporters’ stockpiles to a 26- year high, the International Grains Council said.
Farmers around the world will gather a record 948.4 million metric tons of corn in the season started July 1, up 5.2 million tons from its prior estimate, the London-based council wrote in a report today. That compares with a crop of 862.7 million tons in 2012-13.
Corn slumped 43 percent in Chicago trading in the past 12 months, leading declines in the S&P GSCI gauge of 24 raw materials, as the biggest-ever harvest is expected to exceed demand and pad inventories. Prices reached the lowest level since August 2010 today on the Chicago Board of Trade.
“After recent tightening, global ending stocks are set to rebound sharply,” the IGC wrote. “The supply outlook for grain, rice and oilseed markets is significantly more comfortable than last year.”
Corn carryover inventories at the end of 2013-14 are seen climbing to a 13-year high of 152 million tons, 4 million tons more than in September, from 126 million tons, according to the council. Stocks in the exporting nations of Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine and the U.S. will surge to 64 million tons, a 3 million- ton increase on last month, from 35 million tons.
U.S. corn production will climb to 352 million tons, up 2 million tons from the previous outlook, from 273.8 million tons, the IGC said. The group lifted its estimate for Argentina by 1 million tons to 26 million tons, compared to 2012-13 production of 30 million tons.
The outlook for sub-Saharan Africa’s corn crop was lifted by 1.4 million tons to 54.4 million tons on gains in states from Ethiopia to Zambia. That would still be down from 55.4 million tons in the previous season.
The council also raised its outlook for global wheat production, predicting the crop will jump to 696.4 million tons from 654.9 million tons a year earlier. The forecast was increased from the previous month by 3.8 million tons on higher harvest estimates for Canada, Kazakhstan and Iran.
Wheat futures fell 1 percent in Chicago this month, after rising 3.8 percent in September amid concern adverse weather might curb production in the Black Sea region and Argentina. Prices slumped 22 percent from a year ago.
Canada’s farmers are expected to produce 33 million tons of wheat, 2.5 million tons more than the September estimate, from 27.2 million tons in 2012-13. While the assessment for Russia was trimmed by 500,000 tons to 50.5 million tons, the IGC lifted its Kazakh crop estimate by 2 million tons to 16 million tons.
The IGC cut the outlook for Argentina’s wheat harvest by 500,000 tons to 10.5 million tons, from a 2012-13 crop of 8.5 million tons. Iran will gather 13.5 million tons, it said, 600,000 tons more than last month’s forecast and compared with 14 million tons last season.
The council kept its global rice-harvest estimate at 474 million tons and lifted its outlook for 2013-14 soybean production by 2 million tons to 282 million tons.
--Editors: Dan Weeks, Sharon Lindores.