Forecast corn exports raised, stocks/use lowest since 1995/96

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U.S. corn exports were increased 50 million bushels this month due to adverse weather conditions in Argentina, boosting prospects for higher demand. Corn imports are projected 5 million bushels higher, mostly reflecting strength in reported imports through November. As a result, ending stocks slip to 801 million bushels, down 45 million bushels from last month’s projection.

The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent last month and the lowest level since 1995/96, when the stocks-to-use fell to 5.0 percent. Unlike in 1995/96, corn being held by farmers for delivery to ethanol plants is expected to account for a significant portion of 2011/12 ending stocks, making it more difficult to draw down ending year supplies.

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