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Soybeans Futures Rise as U.S. Planting May Be Delayed

Soybean futures gained for the second time in three sessions on speculation that planting will be delayed in the U.S., the world’s top exporter last year, because winter-wheat collection will be later than normal.

About 2 percent of soybeans in the U.S. were planted as of May 5, down from 22 percent last year and the five-year average of 12 percent, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Winter wheat was about 20 percent headed, compared with 64 percent in 2012 and the five-year average of 39 percent. Farmers who plant soybeans after collecting wheat may not be able to plant oilseeds this year because of the harvest delays.

“We’re going to have a late wheat harvest, and that may delay some of the bean planting,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting in Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 0.9 percent to settle at $13.8225 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price has dropped 1.9 percent this year.

Wheat futures for July delivery climbed 0.9 percent to $7.09 a bushel on the CBOT. The commodity has dropped 8.9 percent this year.

Growers normally start collecting winter wheat in late May and early June. This year, crops are two to four weeks behind normal development, Zuzolo said.

Corn futures for July delivery added 0.5 percent to $6.40 a bushel in Chicago. Planting in the U.S., the largest grower, was 12 percent completed in the week ended May 5, the slowest pace for that week since 1984, according to the USDA.

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