Soybeans Jump Most in Six Months on Tighter Supply; Corn Gains

Soybeans rose the most in more than six months on signs that U.S. supplies are tightening amid higher demand from feed producers and overseas buyers. Corn reached a one-month high.

Soybean inventories on Dec. 1 fell 17 percent from a year earlier to 1.966 billion bushels, the lowest in nine years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Jan. 11. Exporters sold 120,000 tons to China, the world’s biggest consumer, the USDA said today. The department increased its forecast for U.S. meat and poultry output by 1.4 percent last week from a December projection. The oilseed is used in livestock feed.

“Soybean prices are reacting to the tightening U.S. supply story,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The report last week has encouraged livestock and poultry producers to increase purchases out into the start of the U.S. planting season.”

Soybean futures for March delivery jumped 3.3 percent to close at $14.18 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, capping the biggest gain since July 5. The price is down 21 percent from a record $17.89 on Sept. 4 as rains boosted South American crops.

Brazil may collect a record 82.5 million tons in 2013, topping the U.S. as the biggest shipper and producer for the first time, the USDA said Jan. 11. Brazilian forecaster Celeres said today that exports this year will rise to 36.8 million tons, up 12 percent from a year earlier and above the USDA forecast for U.S. shipments of 36.61 million.

Corn Climbs

Corn futures for March delivery gained 2.2 percent to $7.24 a bushel in Chicago after touching $7.2675, the highest since Dec. 17. The grain rose for a sixth straight session, the longest rally since Feb. 29.

Stockpiles in the U.S, the biggest producer and exporter, on Dec. 1 were 8.03 billion bushels, 17 percent less than a year earlier, the USDA said last week. World inventories on Aug. 31 may fall 12 percent to 115.99 million metric tons, the smallest as a percent of use since 1974, USDA data show.

In the U.S., corn is the biggest crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

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