Soybeans Rise on Improved China Demand for U.S. Crop; Corn Gains

Soybeans rose the most in more than a week after the government said U.S. exporters increased sales to China, the world’s biggest consumer. Corn capped the longest rally this month.

U.S. exporters sold 689,000 metric tons of soybeans in the week ended Feb. 21 after two consecutive weeks of net cancellations, the Department of Agriculture said in a report today. China accounted for 69 percent of the total, and the USDA in a separate report said the nation bought an additional 123,000 tons for delivery after Sept. 1. Premiums exporters paid for the oilseed delivered to New Orleans jumped 4.6 percent yesterday, the most in a month.

“Demand is improving for shrinking U.S. supplies,” Don Roose, the president of U.S. Commodities Inc. in West Des Moines, Iowa, said in a telephone interview. “Exporters and crushers are fighting for last year’s drought-reduced supplies.”

Soybean futures for May delivery climbed 0.9 percent to settle at $14.5225 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Feb. 19. Still, the oilseed dropped 1.1 percent in February on forecasts for record harvests in South America.

Soybean meal rose for a third straight day on increasing overseas demand for the animal feed. U.S. exporters sold 250,295 tons in the week ended Feb. 21, the most in 10 weeks, the USDA said. Sales since Oct. 1 are 45 percent larger than a year ago, USDA data show.

Soybean-meal futures for May delivery jumped 1.6 percent to $435.60 for 2,000 pounds, capping a second straight monthly gain.

Corn futures for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $7.035 a bushel in Chicago. Prices climbed for four straight days, the longest rally since Jan. 31. The grain still fell 5 percent this month on speculation that record crops in South America will relieve tight global supplies after the worst U.S. drought in more than seven decades.

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