Soybeans Rise on South American Crop Threats; Corn Gains

Soybeans rose for a second session on speculation that dry weather may damage yields in Brazil, while rain threatens crops in Argentina. Corn gained.

Dry weather will evaporate soil moisture from west-central to northeast Brazil, increasing the risk for yield losses of crops, World Weather Inc. said in a report today. Rain expected over the next three days will interrupt planting in Argentina, the forecaster said. Brazil is poised to top the U.S. as the largest soybean producer and exporter this year, the U.S. government said Dec. 11. Argentina is the biggest shipper of soy-based animal feed and cooking oil.

“The market is starting to focus on pockets of adverse weather,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “Dryness is not serious, but could become more widespread by early January.”

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 0.3 percent to $14.3425 a bushel at 11:27 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the first two-day gain since Dec. 14. Most-active futures on Dec. 20 touched $13.9775, the lowest since Nov. 20. Through Dec. 21, the price gained 18 percent this year after dry weather reduced output in the U.S. to a four-year low.

Corn futures for March delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $7.025 a bushel on the CBOT, heading for the first two-day increase since Nov. 27. On Dec. 20, the price touched $6.875, the lowest since July 11. The most-active futures gained 8.6 percent this year through Dec. 21, as drought reduced U.S. output for a third year.

Trading will end two hours early at noon, and U.S. markets will be closed tomorrow for Christmas. The CBOT will open at 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 26 for grains.

Corn was the biggest U.S. crop last year, valued at $76.5 billion, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion.

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