Soybeans, Corn Jump as Dry Spell Seen Hurting Crops; Wheat Rises

Soybeans jumped to the highest price in almost two months and corn surged the most since April on concern that dry weather will erode crop conditions in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Wheat also rose.

Rainfall in parts of the Midwest was half of normal during the past month, National Weather Service data show. Forecaster DTN said today that precipitation will be limited in most of the region in the next 10 days, while some showers occur in western areas. Crop conditions may have dropped last week, Richard Feltes, the vice president of research at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a report today.

“Warm, dry weather heading into the last part of August will take blooms off plants that may not be regenerated,” Mike Zuzolo, the president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting in Atchison, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “The bean crop needs rain and sunshine. It’s wide open to pretty significant degradation.”

Soybean futures for November delivery surged 3.5 percent to settle at $13.0325 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after reaching $13.0525, the highest since June 20. Prices have rallied 12 percent since reaching an 18-month low of $11.625 on Aug. 7.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 4.7 percent to $4.855 a bushel in Chicago, the biggest increase for a most-active contract since April 29. The price earlier touched $4.8625, the highest since July 24.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Aug. 12 cut its forecast for the domestic harvest by 1.3 percent from a month earlier. Production will rise 28 percent from last year’s drought-damaged crop to a record 13.76 billion bushels, the agency said.

About 64 percent of the corn and soybean crops were in good or excellent condition as of Aug. 11, according to the USDA, which will update the ratings at 4 p.m. today in Washington.

Wheat futures for December delivery gained 1.6 percent to $6.535 a bushel on the CBOT, the biggest increase since July 9.

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