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Soybeans Rise as Rain May Limit U.S. Planting; Corn Price Gains

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose to a one-week high on speculation that wet weather in Great Plains and Midwest states will prevent U.S. farmers from seeding crops on already muddy fields. Corn rallied for the seventh of eight sessions.

Rainfall has been as much as six times normal in the past 30 days in Iowa and Illinois, the largest soybean growers, National Weather Service data show. About 91 percent of the crop was planted as of June 13, up from 84 percent a week earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Before today, soybean futures were down 1.4 percent since the end of May.

“I had two or three clients call me in the past week who said they were thinking seriously about not planting their beans,” said Tomm Pfitzenmaier, a partner at Summit Commodity Brokerage in Des Moines, Iowa. “If they can plant beans until July 1, they will, but if they can’t get them in by the Fourth of July weekend,” the land will be left fallow, he said.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 4 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $9.285 a bushel at 10:36 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $9.29, the highest price for a most-active contract since June 8. Before today, the most-active contract declined 12 percent this year.

Corn gained on speculation that China will buy more of the grain from the U.S., the world’s largest grower and exporter.

China, the world’s second-largest corn consumer, bought 120,000 tons from U.S. shippers, the USDA said June 14. The U.S. Grains Council said the Asian nation may purchase more than 1 million tons in the next 18 months.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 1.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $3.7875 a bushel on the CBOT. Before today, the price fell 9 percent this year, partly on forecasts for increased U.S. production.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.

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