The U.S. quarterly corn stockpile came in 3 percent below expectations because of drought losses that also led the government to forecast on Friday the smallest corn carry-out in 17 years, Reuters reported.
U.S. winter wheat seedings rose just 1 percent from a year earlier, and were lower than market expectations, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
Chicago Board of Trade corn and wheat futures jumped on the back of the bullishly interpreted report. Soybean futures briefly cut losses before heading sharply lower, responding to the USDA's forecast for a larger South American soybean crop.
As of Dec. 1, the United States had 8.03 billion bushels of corn on hand, below even the low end of market expectations averaging 8.28 billion. It was the lowest December corn inventory since 2004 and down 17 percent from a year earlier.
In a battery of reports, the Agriculture Department pegged the 2012 U.S. corn crop at 10.780 billion bushels, the smallest in six years but above the average trade guess of 10.665 billion bushels.
Soybean production, at 3.015 billion bushels, was above the average guess of 2.97 billion but still the smallest in four years.