Soybean inventories in the United States fell 0.6 percent from a year earlier to the lowest for March 1 since 2004 after demand from China climbed to a record, USDA said today in a quarterly report.  Soybean acreage this year may reach an all-time high.

Stockpiles in the world’s largest producer dropped to 992.3 million bushels as of the start of this month, from 998 million (27.16 million metric tons) a year earlier, USDA said. Usage from December through February was 1.16 billion, compared with 967 million a year earlier.

Supplies stored on farms were 381.9 million bushels, compared with 456.7 million a year earlier, USDA said.  Soybeans held in commercial grain bins were 610.4 million bushels versus 541.3 million. Farmers intend to boost soybean plantings to a record 81.493 million acres from 76.533 million a year earlier, according to USDA.