Soybean futures rose for the first time in four sessions on signs that U.S. crops haven’t benefited from recent rainfall. Corn and wheat declined.
Soybean conditions were unchanged as of Sept. 22 from a week earlier, with half the plants rated good or excellent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. While some parts of the Midwest had 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of moisture in the past week, rain has been about half of normal in the past month. Three percent of the oilseed harvest was complete, behind the average pace of 9 percent.
“The condition of soybean plants remained unchanged week-on-week,” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report e-mailed today. “This, coupled with the uncertainty over whether the soybean-acreage figures stated so far are actually correct or whether the acreage may in fact be smaller after all, is lending support to soybean prices.”
Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.6 percent to $13.16 a bushel at 9:51 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after falling 3 percent in the previous three sessions. Prices earlier touched $13.0525, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 23.
While the USDA expects this year’s harvest to be 4.4 percent larger than last year, when crops were hurt by the worst drought since the 1930s, the agency cut its forecast on Sept. 12 and in August as drought conditions expanded in parts of the Midwest.
Excess rain in April and May also prevented some fieldwork, with crop-insurance claims filed for 1.69 million acres of unplanted land intended for soybeans, compared with 159,579 acres last year, USDA data show.
Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $4.4925 a bushel on the CBOT. Fifty-five percent of the crop was in good or excellent condition as of Sept. 22, up from 53 percent a week earlier, the USDA said yesterday.
Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 0.5 percent to $6.5025 a bushel in Chicago. Planting of winter varieties rose to 23 percent complete on Sept. 22, up from 12 percent a week earlier, USDA data show.
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