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Soybeans Gain on Improved U.S. Exports to China; Wheat Declines

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rallied to a one-week high after China, the world’s largest buyer, made the sixth-biggest purchase ever from the U.S. Wheat fell for a fourth straight session, and corn was little changed.

Exporters sold 713,000 metric tons of soybeans to China for delivery in the 12 months starting Sept. 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. China imported a record 7.2 million tons in July, customs figures show, and the USDA predicts the country will import 69 million tons next year, up from 59 million forecast in the year that ends Sept. 30.

“Big Chinese purchases are providing support to the soybean market,” Jim Gerlach, the president of A/C Trading Co. in Fowler, Indiana, said in a telephone interview today. “U.S. soybeans are competitive, and China is buying ahead to lock in import needs.”

Soybean futures for delivery in November climbed 1.9 percent to $12.0525 a bushel at 9:48 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $12.07, the highest since Aug. 2. Prices as of Aug. 9 dropped 16 percent this year, the sixth-largest decline among 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index.

Soybeans also rose on speculation that U.S. production will be smaller than the government predicted in July, Gerlach said. The USDA is scheduled to update its forecasts at noon today in Washington.

Traders predicted the USDA will cut its soybean forecast by 1.8 percent to 3.357 billion bushels from 3.42 billion expected in July, a Bloomberg survey showed. Inventories before the 2014 harvest may be cut 11 percent from 295 million bushels anticipated in July, according to a Bloomberg survey

Wheat futures for delivery in December fell 0.2 percent to $6.4575 a bushel on the CBOT. On Aug. 9, prices reached $6.435, the lowest for a most-active contract since June 18, 2012.

France’s wheat harvest, the European Union’s biggest, will climb 1.7 percent to 36.1 million tons from 2012, the Agriculture Ministry forecast, raising its outlook from 35.9 million tons a month ago on better-than-expected yields.

Corn futures for delivery in December was up 0.1 percent at $4.5375 a bushel in Chicago, after fluctuating between gains and losses. Earlier, the price touched $4.515, the lowest for a most-active contract since September 2010.

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

Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

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

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