Soybeans rose the most in a week on signs of increasing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. Corn gained on speculation that the lowest prices in almost four weeks will spur demand.
U.S. processors used 157.3 million bushels of soybeans in November to make feed and cooking oil, up 11 percent from a year ago, the National Oilseed Processors Association said today in a report. Exports of soy-based animal feed jumped 54 percent in November, the highest ever for the month. U.S. soybean exports in the week ended Dec. 6 rose 15 percent from a week earlier and were the most since November 2010, the government said yesterday.
“Demand for soybeans is far surpassing anyone’s expectations,” Rich Nelson, the chief strategist for Allendale Inc. in McHenry, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “The November crush was fantastic and overseas demand continues very strong.”
Soybean futures for March delivery increased 1.3 percent to close at $14.915 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest advance since Dec. 5. The most-active contract gained for a fourth straight week and is up 23 percent this year.
Corn futures for March delivery climbed 1.5 percent to $7.3075 a bushel in Chicago, snapping a six-session decline. Yesterday, the price touched $7.15, the lowest since Nov. 16. The grain fell 0.9 percent this week and is down 14 percent since reaching a record $8.49 in August.
Prices rose on speculation that overseas demand will improve for U.S. supplies, Nelson said. Export sales for delivery in the marketing year that ends August 31 fell 46 percent to 12.488 million metric tons on Dec. 6 from a year earlier, USDA data show.
Domestic reserves before the 2013 harvest will fall 35 percent to 16.424 million tons, the lowest since 1996, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Dec. 11. Global corn stockpiles will fall to 13.6 percent of what will be used for food, ethanol and livestock feed, the lowest ratio since 1974, the USDA said.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government figures show.