Soybeans rose for the first time this week on speculation that reduced output in South America will force Chinese importers to buy more from the U.S., the world’s largest grower.
China imported 3.83 million metric tons of soybeans in February, up 65 percent from a year earlier and the most for the month since before 2004, the Customs General Administration said today. Processors may increase purchases for delivery from July to October after Chicago futures tumbled yesterday, grain.gov.cn said today in a report.
“Prices probably have found a level that will stimulate new Chinese purchases from the U.S.,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “A jump in Brazilian soybean-export prices yesterday, when U.S. prices fell, makes U.S. supplies more attractive to Chinese buyers.”
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.7 percent to close at $13.55 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after dropping 1.6 percent yesterday, the most since Jan. 30. The oilseed has gained 14 percent in the past two months as hot, dry weather reduced crops in Brazil and Argentina, the two biggest producers after the U.S.
The U.S. was the largest exporter in the year that ended Sept. 30, according to government estimates. The U.S. crop was valued at $35.8 billion in 2011, second behind corn, government figures show.