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Soybeans Rise as U.S. Growers May Shun Oilseeds for Corn

Soybeans gained on expectations growers in the U.S., the second-biggest shipper, will plant more corn at the expense of the oilseed and as dry weather in Brazil harms crops.

Corn seeding may rise 3.1 percent this year to 94.8 million acres while the soybean area may gain 2.3 percent to 76.7 million acres, according to a survey of farmers and industry officials by Chicago-based Linn Group Inc. Dry weather in southern Brazil is still affecting soybeans and corn, forecaster Somar Meteorologia said on March 19.

U.S. corn “planting will actually be closer to 95 million acres, and that’s going to come at the expense of soybeans,” said Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, a London-based analyst at Barclays Capital. “And we have the South American drought that’s impacting production. With soybeans, the basic upward trend is still in place.”

Soybeans for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $13.6675 a bushel by 10:27 a.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest advance since March 15. The price has dropped 0.5 percent this week.

Corn and wheat rose after data from the U.S., the biggest shipper of both grains, showed an increase in export sales.

Corn for May delivery gained 1 percent to $6.5075 a bushel in Chicago. Futures are poised for a 3.3 percent decline this week, the biggest drop since the five days ended Jan. 13.

Wheat climbed 0.6 percent to $6.5025 a bushel, trimming the weekly loss to 3.2 percent. Milling wheat for May delivery on NYSE Liffe in Paris rose 1.1 percent to 212.50 euros ($281.67) a metric ton, the second straight increase.

‘Encouraging’ Data

U.S. exporters sold 862,143 tons of old-crop corn in the week ended March 15, up 3.1 percent from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Total net sales of wheat rose 55 percent to 541,309 tons, the report showed.

“The export data out of the USDA last night was encouraging for wheat and corn prices,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said by phone from Sydney today.

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