Soybeans rose to a two-week high as demand increased in China, the world’s largest consumer. Corn futures declined.
U.S. exporters sold 1.342 million metric tons of soybeans in the week ended Nov. 26, almost double the previous week, when prices in Chicago dropped 5.3 percent, the Department of Agriculture said today. China was the principal buyer. Sales for delivery in the marketing year that began Sept. 1 are 19 percent higher than a year ago, government data show.
“Export sales improved last week because China returned,” said Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa. “Today’s sales report shows that there is underlying demand for U.S. soybeans when prices decline.”
Soybean futures for January delivery rose 1.75 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $12.8475 a bushel at 12:28 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $12.87, the highest since Nov. 16. Before today, the oilseed gained 42 percent since the end of June as China’s demand surged and hot, dry weather reduced U.S. yields.
Corn futures for March delivery slipped 1.5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $5.6475 in Chicago. Yesterday, the price climbed 4.1 percent, the biggest gain since Oct. 20, on speculation demand will increase for U.S. inventories.
The U.S. is the world’s largest grower and exporter of both commodities. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $48.6 billion in 2009, government figures show, followed by soybeans at $31.8 billion.