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Soybean Futures Advance to One-Week High on China Demand

Soybean futures rose to the highest in more than a week as the U.S. government reported more sales to China, the world’s biggest buyer. Corn and wheat gained.

U.S. exporters sold 345,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for arrival in the 12 months starting Sept. 1, and 330,000 tons were sold to unknown destinations for delivery before Aug. 31, the Department of Agriculture said today. There were 174 vessels at Brazilian ports loading or waiting to get 10.3 million tons of the oilseed and soy-based animal feed today, according to SA Commodities.

“The unknown sales are probably headed to China because of the serious logistical problems developing in Brazil,” David Smoldt, a vice president at INTL FCStone Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Crush margins for Chinese soybean processors importing soybeans are very good now, and they want to get as many soybeans as possible.”

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 0.3 percent to close at $14.665 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $14.8175, the highest for a most-active contract since Feb. 22.

About 40.3 million bushels were inspected for export for the week ended Feb. 28, up 45 percent from a week earlier, USDA data show. Shipments last week were almost six times larger than the weekly average needed to reach the USDA forecast for the year, Smoldt said.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to $7.09 a bushel. The grain climbed for the sixth time in seven sessions as U.S. farmers withheld dwindling supplies.

Premiums for corn at terminals near New Orleans rose to highest since Nov. 30, USDA data show. Inspections of the grain climbed 34 percent to 15.7 million bushels in the week ended Feb. 28.

Wheat futures for May delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $7.06 a bushel. Yesterday, the price touched $6.975, the lowest since June 25, after rain and snow boosted prospects for the U.S. winter crop.

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