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Soybeans Rise on Improved U.S. Export Demand; Corn, Wheat Fall

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April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose for a third day and soybean meal jumped to the highest price this month after a government report showed improved U.S. exports amid shipping delays in South America. Corn and wheat fell.

Exporters reported soybean sales for delivery before Aug. 31 reached 339,402 metric tons in the week ended April 11, or 53 percent more than the average during the prior four weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Soybean-meal sales were 77 percent higher than the average. In Brazil, the second-largest shipper in 2012, vessels waited as long as 51 days at the port of Paranagua and 41 days at Santos, twice as long as last year, SA Commodities said.

“The world buyer continues to come to the U.S. for supplies we don’t have,” after the worst drought in 70 years cut production for a third straight season in 2012, Ken Smithmier, a grain analyst for researcher Hightower Report in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Soybean futures for July delivery increased 0.7 percent to close at $13.90 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping a three-day gain. Soybean-meal futures for July delivery jumped 1 percent to $403.10 for 2,000 pounds, after reaching $408.90, the highest for the most-active contract since March 28.

Soybean sales since Sept. 1 are 13 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a USDA forecast for a drop of 0.9 percent. About 36.64 million tons of U.S. soybeans have already been sold or shipped, the USDA said today. The agency’s full-year projection is 36.7 million tons. Soybean-meal sales are 39 percent ahead of last year.

Corn futures for delivery in July fell 1.8 percent to $6.2975 a bushel in Chicago, the first drop in three sessions, on forecasts for reduced U.S. drought conditions in the Midwest and drier weather for planting crops next month.

Wheat futures for July delivery slid 0.1 percent to $7.0675 a bushel on the CBOT, the third decline this week.

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