USDA optimistic on 2014 crop

Corn futures slid the most in a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected a record domestic crop this year that signals a growing global glut. Wheat fell, and soybeans climbed.

Corn yields in 2014 may jump 4.1 percent to produce 13.985 billion bushels, leaving stockpiles on Aug. 31, 2015, at 2.111 billion bushels, the highest since 2005 and 43 percent larger than the 1.481 billion projected for a year earlier, the USDA said today in a report. Futures tumbled 40 percent last year.

The stockpile figure “was bigger than people expected,” Tomm Pfitzenmaier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “I think you’re going to see things sag again.”

Corn futures for May delivery dropped 0.3 percent to $4.6075 a bushel at 11:28 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. A close at that price would mark the biggest decline since Feb. 11.

Prices for the most-active contract gained 9.5 percent this year through yesterday amid signs of rising demand.

Wheat futures for May delivery slid 0.8 percent to $6.085 a bushel, the first drop since Feb. 12. U.S. wheat inventories will rise to 587 million bushels before the 2015 harvest, compared with 558 million projected for June 1, the USDA said.

Soybean futures for May delivery gained 0.5 percent to $13.54 a bushel.

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