Soybeans Reach Six-Week High as China Imports Seen at Record

Soybeans reached a six-week high in Chicago amid speculation demand for oilseeds from China, the world’s largest buyer, will climb to a record this season.

China’s oilseed imports are forecast to rise to 65.3 million metric tons in the year through September from 63.1 million tons in 2011-12, researcher Oil World said yesterday. Soybean buying will increase to 62 million tons from 59.2 million tons, it predicted.

“Chinese authorities have been buying up domestic supplies since November,” Joyce Liu, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte, said by phone from Singapore. “That has been buoying soybean demand,” along with “high crushing margins as well as rising demand for soybean oil and soybean meal,” Liu said.

Soybeans for delivery in March added 1.2 percent to $14.69 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 12:13 p.m. Paris time. Prices touched $14.6975, the highest level for a most-active contract since Dec. 18, and climbed for a fourth session. The oilseed is up 4.2 percent in January, set for the first monthly advance since August.

Rain delaying Brazil’s harvest and shipments and dry weather cutting yield potential in Argentina may boost U.S. exports before South America dominates global trade, Societe Generale SA analyst Christopher Narayanan said yesterday.

Wheat for delivery in March rose 0.5 percent to $7.81 a bushel, erasing a drop of as much as 0.7 percent. Milling wheat for delivery the same month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris was unchanged at 247.50 euros ($335.53) a ton.

Corn for delivery in March added 1 percent to $7.3675 a bushel in Chicago, on course for a fourth gain in five.

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