In this weekly Commodities Watch column, John T. Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc., offers a snapshot of the state of commodities for restaurants.

Corn commodities have been the tale of two crops lately — old and new.

In Friday’s Grain Stocks report, the USDA said corn supplies (old crop) as of June 1 totaled 2.76 billion bushels. That was less than expected: 12 percent below a year ago and the lowest level in 16 years.

Conversely, in Friday’s Acreage report, the USDA said this year’s (new) corn crop would total 97.4 million acres — the most since 1936 and a slight increase from last year.

Almost every analyst had expected that heavy spring rain and planting delays would almost certainly have reduced planted acreage to well below year-ago levels. As a result, corn prices went in opposite directions for the old crop and new crop. The July (old crop) futures contract jumped from $6.53 to $6.79 per bushel last week, while the December (new crop) contract dropped to $5.11 — close to the USDA forecast of $4.90 per bushel for crop year 2013 – 2014.

Contact John T. Barone at jbarone@mktvsn.com.