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Corn Gains on Signs of Chinese Purchases; Soybeans Advance

Corn rose for a second straight day on speculation that China, the world’s biggest grower after the U.S., is increasing purchases to build state reserves. Soybeans also advanced.

U.S. exporters sold 480,000 metric tons of corn to unknown destinations, the Department of Agriculture said today. China may have purchased as much as 1 million tons last week to increase stockpiles, reseracher said today in a report. The cost of importing U.S. corn on April 19 fell to the lowest this month, according to Shanghai JC Intelligence Co.

“Traders see today’s announcement as confirmation of Chinese purchases and look for more U.S. sales to occur,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “U.S. supplies are getting tighter.”

Corn futures for July delivery gained 0.7 percent to $6.1675 a bushel at 10:12 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The commodity rose 1.6 percent yesterday.

Soybeans climbed on speculation that overseas demand for U.S. supplies will increase after South American production was curtailed by drought, Grow said.

The harvest in Argentina, the biggest shipper of animal feed and cooking oil made from the oilseed, may fall to as low as 42 million tons, down 15 percent from a year ago, Oil World, a Hamburg-based researcher, said today in a report. In the week ended April 12, U.S. sales of soy-based animal feed doubled from a year earlier and were the highest for the date since at least 2003, USDA data show.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to $14.5375 a bushel, gaining for the third time in four sessions. The most-active contract touched a seven-month high on April 20 at $14.5875.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

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