Corn futures, which topped $8 bushel for the first time, could yet spike above $10 a bushel, Morgan Stanley said, lifted by a "battle royal" between livestock producers for supplies.
According to the British online publication, agrimoney.com, the investment bank hiked average 2012-13 forecasts for both Chicago corn futures, to $7.85 a bushel, and soybean futures, to $16 a bushel, citing the "need to ration demand" after heat and drought cut estimates for U.S. yields.
However, given the "inelastic nature of demand" for the crops — meaning higher values may only choke off a small amount of consumption — and the prospect of "record tight" inventories prices could trade "significantly higher for short periods of time."
"Indeed, we anticipate periods of time in the coming months where corn trades in double-digits," Morgan Stanley said. That forecast implies considerable further upside for futures.Chicago's September contract on Thursday rose nearly 2% to a record, for a spot contract, of $8.11-½ a bushel, while the new crop December lot reached a contact high of $7.98 a bushel.