Projected lower ending stocks for the 2008/2009 marketing year has led USDA to raise its price forecasts for corn and soybeans. The estimate was published in USDA's monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report. Ending stocks below average analysts' estimates led to a rally in futures prices for both corn and soybeans on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The agency now projects the 2008/2009 average farm price for corn at $4.00 to $4.40 per bushel, up 10 cents on both ends of the range. This compares with the 2007/2008 record average price of $4.20 per bushel.

USDA lowered its forecast for U.S. corn ending stocks for 2008/2009 by 40 million bushels to 1.7 billion bushels, as higher use is expected to outweigh reduced food, seed, and industrial use.

USDA projects a season-average soybean price of $9.25 to $10.05 per bushel compared with $8.85 to $9.85 per bushel forecast last month. The agency lowered its soybean ending stocks prediction by 20 million bushels to 165 million bushels.