“Corn prices are being supported at relatively high levels due to a combination of production uncertainty and uncertainty about whether the rate of consumption has slowed sufficiently,” Good said. The USDA’s December Grain Stocks and Annual Crop Production reports to be released on Jan. 11 will provide more clarity about the rate of domestic feed and residual use of corn and the availability of U.S. corn for the remainder of the current marketing year. “Those reports are expected to reveal a high rate of feed and residual use of corn during the first quarter of the 2012-13 marketing year and a smaller 2012 harvest than previously forecast.
“Production uncertainty, on the other hand, will persist much longer,” Good said. “The potential size of the South American crops will be clearer by February. Current concerns are focused on the impact of extremely wet conditions in parts of Argentina. Prospects for the U.S crop will not be cleared up for several months,” he said.