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Soybeans Rise as Dry Weather Threatening Brazil Crop; Corn Gains

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose from a one-month low on speculation that dry, warm weather in parts of Brazil will reduce yield potential, increasing demand for U.S. supplies. Corn also climbed.

Temperatures will be as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal in the next week, increasing stress on crops in central and southeast Brazil, Mike Tannura, the president of T-Storm Weather LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. About 45 percent of the crop has received half of the normal rainfall this month. Brazil was expected to top the U.S. as the world’s biggest producer for the first time in the year ending Sept. 30.

“Perceptions that weather conditions are ideal in Brazil are starting to be questioned,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Inc. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. “People are starting to realize there are some problems developing.”

Soybean futures for March delivery rose 1.7 percent to close $14.2925 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, trimming this week’s drop to 4.2 percent. The most-active contract yesterday touched $13.9775, the lowest since Nov. 20. The price is up 18 percent this year after dry weather reduced output in the U.S. to a four-year low.

Corn futures for March delivery advanced 0.8 percent to $7.02 a bushel in Chicago. Still, the contract fell 3.9 percent this week, the third straight decline.

Yesterday’s drop to a five-month low of $6.875 may spur overseas demand for U.S. supplies, Gerlach said. Imports in China, the biggest consumer and producer after the U.S., surged 57 percent in November from a year earlier and were the highest ever for the month, the Customs General Administration said today.

Prices are up 8.6 percent in 2012, and 39 percent since mid-June, as drought reduced U.S. output for a third year.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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