FROM SCRATCH NEWSWIRE

SCAVENGING THE INTERNET

USDA: MORE ACRES TO CORN IN 2009 (USA)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

Published Wednesday – December 3, 2008

BLOOMBERG NEWS

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

Farmers will increase corn planting by 4.8 percent to about 90 million acres next year as demand rises and lower costs make the grain more profitable, said Joe Glauber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s top economist.

“We’re going to go into next year tighter than we did this year,” Glauber said Tuesday at an agricultural conference in Washington.

Inventories are expected to drop 31 percent to 1.124 billion bushels by Aug. 31 of next year, he said.

He did not offer 2009 planting forecasts for other crops.

Corn futures in Chicago have fallen 56 percent from a record earlier this year. Soybeans are down 48 percent and wheat 61 percent from all-time highs. Global recession and larger crops have fueled the drop, which will keep prices next year lower than this year, Glauber said.

Rabobank Group analyst Luke Chandler said he expects slumping grain prices to rebound next year because of smaller world crops and economic stability that will boost demand for food, animal feed and biofuels.

His outlook for grains:

– Corn may rise to average $4.50 a bushel in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with $3.80 this quarter.

– Soybeans may gain 13 percent to an average $10.20 a bushel in the fourth quarter next year from $9 this quarter.

– Wheat prices may rise 9.1 percent to an average of $6 a bushel in Chicago in the fourth quarter next year, compared with $5.50 in the current quarter.

“South American production and exports also appear under pressure with a combination of seasonal and financial influences expected to lower production expectations in coming months,” Chandler said in a report to clients. “Short-term price direction over the next six to 12 months will remain heavily influenced by the broader financial, currency and energy market situation.”

Smaller crops in Australia and Argentina should lead to a cyclical low early in the first quarter of 2009, he said.

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PUBLISHED BY ‘THE OMAHA WORLD-HERALD’ (USA)

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