U.S. corn, soybean acreage will expand in 2012 amid high grain prices, Bunge says; corn acreage rose 6.9% year-over-year to 91.9 million acres in 2011, USDA says

LOS ANGELES , February 10, 2012 () – Global agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd. predicts that U.S. acreage devoted to corn and soybeans will expand in 2012 as a result of high grain prices, Bloomberg reported Feb. 9.

On June 9, prices for corn increased to US$7.93 per bushel—a three-year high—as futures on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices have fallen 19% over the last eight months, but are still higher than the 10-year average of $3.67 per bushel.

On Aug. 31, soybeans reached $14.65 per bushel—a three year high—as futures on the Chicago Board of Trade. As of Feb. 9, soybean prices had fallen 16% to $12.315 per bushel.

U.S. farmers will have an incentive to increase their acreage devoted to corn and soybeans due to restricted worldwide supplies of these crops, which will bolster prices, said Bunge CEO Alberto Weisser.

On Feb. 9, the United States Department of Agriculture lowered their forecast for the worldwide corn inventory from last month’s prediction of 128.1 million tons to 125.4 million tons. The USDA lowered their forecast for the world soybean stockpile during the year ending on Sept. 30 from last month’s prediction of 63.43 million tons to 60.28 million tons. This is also less than the 68.9 million tons of soybeans that were stockpiled during the previous year.

In 2011, U.S. corn acreage rose year-over-year from approximately 86 million acres to 91.9 million acres, according to the USDA.

The USDA reported that soybean acreage fell 3.1% year-over-year to 75 million acres in 2011.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Feb. 9, 2012.

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