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Shrinking Grain Supplies Send Prices Soaring

Dwindling stockpiles of U.S. grains have sent prices for corn, soybeans and wheat skyrocketing.

Corn futures closed trading Wednesday up 1.4% after rising Tuesday by the maximum allowed by the Chicago Board of Trade to more than $5.17 per bushel. The move followed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly supply and demand report showing corn production falling short of expectations.

This week’s surge carried corn to its highest close since July 2013. Soybeans and wheat are also trading at their highest levels since 2014 this week, with soybeans above the $14 per bushel mark and wheat over $6.60 per bushel Wednesday.

“It’s an off-to-the-races kind of thing,” said Jason Britt, head of Central States Commodities in Kansas City, Mo.

Dry weather in key growing regions of the U.S. and South America has hit domestic corn production, which is expected to total 14.2 billion bushels for the current marketing year, 325 million bushels less than projected last month and 1.1 billion bushels below initial projections for the 2020 crop last summer, according to the USDA report.

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