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Soybeans Advance on U.S. Acres, South American Drought

Soybeans advanced before a U.S. government report this week that may show planting for the next season will be little changed and as drought curbed the harvest in South America, dimming global supply prospects.

U.S. growers will seed 75.2 million acres with soybeans, little changed from the prior year, Rabobank International said in a report yesterday. Southern Hemisphere soybean output will fall 12 percent to 121.5 million tons, Oil World said yesterday. China’s imports of the oilseed will jump 6.3 percent in 2011-12, the Hamburg-based researcher said.

“We expect that lower South American production, limited U.S. acreage gain and increased imports by China will bring the 2012-13 U.S. soybean balance into a deficit and support soybean prices over corn prices over the next 12 months,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report today.

Soybeans for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $13.77 a bushel by 11:22 a.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures have gained 14 percent this quarter.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release the results of a national survey of farmers’ planting intentions and the government’s estimates of grain inventories on March 30.

“Concerns about the yields in South America and the report that’s coming out on Friday about plantings are pushing prices higher,” Chung Yang Ker, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said by phone from Singapore.

Corn for May delivery gained 0.2 percent to $6.3225 a bushel. The price is down 2.2 percent this year.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.5 percent to $6.43 a bushel in Chicago. The price is down 1.5 percent this year. Milling wheat for May delivery on NYSE Liffe was unchanged at 213.25 euros ($284.58) a metric ton.

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