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Soybeans Flat as Drier Weather May Boost Potential of U.S. Crop

June 28 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans were flat for the second consecutive session as a forecast for drier weather in the Midwest may boost the yield potential for crops in the U.S., the world’s largest grower and shipper.

Dry weather into July will firm soils for any remaining soybean sowing and improve conditions for recently planted crops in the Midwest, said Allen Motew, a meteorologist for QT Weather in Chicago. Rains from Tropical Storm Alex may moisten dry soils across the southern U.S., Motew said. Wet, cool weather may benefit most crops into the middle of July, he said.

“The weather forecasts are improving, and that is the main drag on soybean prices,” said Jeff Beal, a market consultant for the Gulke Group Inc. in Rockford, Illinois. “Two weeks of dry, warm weather will do wonders for the crop.”

Soybean futures for November delivery were flat at $9.12 a bushel at 10:49 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after gaining 0.5 percent to $9.1675. The most-active contract dropped 2 percent last week, the eighth decline in nine weeks.

Prices also were constrained by speculation that demand for soy-based animal feed will slow this year, Beal said.

The hog-breeding herd totaled 5.788 million sows on June 1, 3 percent fewer than a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said June 25 after markets closed in Chicago.

“The hogs report confirmed there will be reduced numbers of pigs to feed this year,” Beal said.

Soybean meal for December delivery rose 20 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $261.30 for 2,000 pounds. Before today, the most-active futures lost 15 percent this year on forecasts for a jump in production in Argentina and Brazil, the biggest shippers of the animal feed.

The soybean crop in the U.S. was valued at $31.8 billion last year, second only to corn at $48.6 billion, government figures show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

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

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