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Soybean, Corn Premiums Rise as Futures Slide Halts Farmer Sales

Cash premiums for soybeans and corn shipped this month to export terminals near New Orleans at the mouth of the Mississippi River rose as farmers withheld supplies after futures fell.

The spot-basis bid, or premium, for soybeans delivered in December rose to 80 cents to 82 cents a bushel above January futures, compared with 77 cents to 82 cents yesterday, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. Corn premiums climbed to 47 cents to 49 cents above March futures from 46 cents to 47 cents.

“The bids are improving to get increased supplies as the year-end holidays approach,” said Hugh Whalen, a commodity risk consultant at Mid-Co Commodities Inc. in Bloomington, Illinois. “We are seeing some cash merchants bidding more aggressively for immediate supplies.”

Soybean futures for January delivery declined 3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to close at $12.855 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the price fell 0.9 percent after reaching a three-week high of $13.0675.

Corn futures for March delivery fell 6.25 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $5.6175 a bushel. Earlier, the price reached $5.7575, the highest since Nov. 15. The grain dropped 1 percent yesterday.

Barge-freight costs may rise into January as shippers rush to move grain and oilseeds to New Orleans before ice forms and forces river closures in the coming weeks, Whalen said.

“The colder weather is also playing a role in reducing movement of grain,” Whalen said. “Supplies are going to get tougher to get in the next few weeks, so exporters are willing to pay more now” to boost inventories, he said.

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