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Soybeans Futures Jump to 11-Week High on Weather Concerns

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Aug. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures rose to a 11-week high as hot, dry weather expected in the Midwest curbs prospects for a bumper crop in the U.S., the world’s top exporter last year. Corn and wheat also advanced.

Rain will be “limited” in the Midwest in the next two weeks and hot weather will stress oilseeds, Commodity Weather Group LLC said in a report today. Soybeans and corn are maturing at a below-average pace after precipitation delayed planting and cold weather slowed growth earlier this year, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

“There’s virtually no rain in the forecast for the next six to 10 days,” Brian Hoops, the president of Midwest Market Solutions in Springfield, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “Those who got rain this week were lucky. It’s going to be hot and dry, and that figures to hurt the soybeans.”

Soybean futures for November delivery surged 3.2 percent to settle at $13.28 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $13.315, the highest for a most-active contract since June 7. This week, the oilseed rose 5.5 percent, the third straight increase.

Soybean traders are the most bullish in more than a year as the slow development of crops raises concern that yields will be hurt by frost, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Twenty of 27 analysts said that they expect prices to rise next week, with two bearish and five neutral. That’s the largest proportion of bulls since June 2012.

Crop Tour

A tour of the Midwest this week run by the Professional Farmers of America showed the crop trailing the latest estimate by the USDA.

Output will be 3.158 billion bushel this year, down 3 percent from the government Aug. 12 forecast of 3.255 billion. In 2012, the harvest was 3.015 billion. Inspectors on the annual tour found below-average soybean-yield potential in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska.

Corn futures for December delivery gained 1.2 percent to $4.70 a bushel. This week, the price rose 1.4 percent, the second straight increase. The most-active contract has tumbled 33 percent this year as the government forecast the U.S. crop would rise to a record 13.76 billion bushel.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 0.9 percent to $6.46 a bushel. This week, the price climbed 0.4 percent.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, government data show.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net; Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

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

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