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Soybeans Rise From Four-Week Low on U.S. Crop Rating

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures rose from a one-month low on signs that Midwest rain failed to bolster crops in the U.S, the world’s biggest producer. Corn fell to the cheapest in six weeks, and wheat gained.

The condition of the soybean crop was unchanged on Sept. 22 from a week earlier with 50 percent of plants rated good or excellent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. While parts of the Midwest had 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of precipitation in the past week, rainfall was 50 percent of the normal amount in the previous month. Three percent of the harvest was complete, behind the average of 9 percent in the past five years.

The latest crop rating, “coupled with the uncertainty over whether the soybean-acreage figures stated so far are actually correct or whether the acreage may in fact be smaller after all, is lending support to soybean prices.” Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in a report.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose 0.4 percent to close at $13.125 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the oilseed touched $13.0525, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 23.

While the USDA expects this year’s harvest to be 4.4 percent larger than last year, the agency cut its forecast on Sept. 12 and in August as drought conditions expanded in parts of the Midwest.

Excess rain in April and May prevented some fieldwork, with crop-insurance claims filed for 1.69 million acres of unplanted land intended for soybeans, compared with 159,579 acres last year, USDA data show.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 1 percent to $4.4875 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $4.48, the lowest since Aug. 14. As of Sept. 22, 55 percent of the U.S. crop was in good or excellent condition, up from 53 percent a week earlier.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose 0.7 percent to $6.5825 a bushel. Planting of winter grain was 23 percent complete on Sept. 22, up from 12 percent a week ago.

To contact the reporters on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net; Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

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

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