U.S. farmers can’t meet booming corn demand

Exporters, livestock feeders and ethanol makers are going through the U.S. corn stockpile faster than farmers can grow the crops, the government said on Friday.

Despite record crops in two of the past three years and another record within reach this year, the Agriculture Department estimated the corn carryover will shrink to the lowest level since 2006/07.

In a monthly look at crop supply and usage, USDA estimated 1.478 billion bushels of corn will be in U.S. bins on August 31, when this marketing year ends, and 1.373 billion bushels will be on hand at the end of 2010/11.

The carryover figures are sharply lower from USDA’s previous estimates — down 8 percent for this year and down 12 percent for next year — but slightly larger than traders expected.

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