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Soybeans Rebound on Speculation Demand May Rise Following Slump

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose for the first time in a week in Chicago, narrowing a third weekly drop, on speculation that demand for the oilseed may rebound after prices fell.

Soybeans slumped to the lowest price in almost seven weeks yesterday after China, the world’s biggest consumer, canceled purchases of 315,000 metric tons of U.S. supplies. Export commitments to China as of Dec. 20 were still 11 percent higher than a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The agency will update its weekly export sales report today.

“The Chinese are back at the game of canceling former export commitments,” economist Dennis Gartman said today in his daily Gartman Letter. “We expect the Chinese to repurchase those same soybeans in the next day or two or three.”

Soybeans for March delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $13.8775 a bushel at 6:29 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, reducing this week’s decline to 2.1 percent. Prices touched $13.725 yesterday, the lowest since Nov. 16. Corn for delivery in March fell 0.1 percent to $6.8825 a bushel, headed for a fifth weekly drop, the worst run since September 2011.

Brazilian corn and soybean shipments from Paranagua, the country’s biggest grains and oilseeds port, will gain as much as 14 percent this year on ample crops, the port said yesterday. Corn rose 8 percent in 2012, reaching a record $8.49 a bushel on Aug. 10, as drought scorched the U.S. Higher prices rationed demand and they may have peaked for this marketing year without further supply shocks, according to Credit Suisse Group AG.

Lower Forecast

The USDA may lower its forecast for U.S. corn exports in its next monthly supply and demand report on Jan. 11, said Dave Norris, an independent grain broker in Harrogate, England. In the four weeks through Dec. 20, U.S. exporters sold 78 percent less corn than a year earlier, USDA data show.

“Corn export sales have absolutely been rubbish every single week,” Norris said by phone today. “You would expect that USDA could reduce its estimate for exports.”

Wheat for delivery in March fell 0.1 percent to $7.5475 a bushel, poised for a 3.1 percent drop this week. That would be the fifth weekly slide and the worst run since October 2011. In Paris, milling wheat for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to 248 euros ($323) a ton on NYSE Liffe.

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net; Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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