Soybean Futures Rise as U.S. Exports Surge; Grains Drop

Soybean futures rose for the second time in three days on signs of improving demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s largest exporter after Brazil. Grains declined.

In the two weeks ended Oct. 31, soybean exports jumped to 164.22 million bushels, the most ever for the period, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. As of Oct. 24, sales for delivery before Aug. 31 rose to 32.23 million metric tons (1.18 billion bushels), up 25 percent from a year earlier. Prices are down 11 percent this year as world output reached a record.

“Exports are very strong and will keep a floor under prices,” Brian Grete, the senior market analyst at the Professional Farmers of America newsletter, said in a telephone interview from Cedar Falls, Iowa. “Buyers are likely to use the drop in prices to add to purchases.”

Soybean futures for January delivery rose 0.4 percent to close at $12.55 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Yesterday, the oilseed touched $12.47, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 15.

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to $6.5325 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $6.5225, the lowest since Sept. 24.

U.S. winter-wheat crops rated in good or excellent condition increased to 63 percent as of Nov. 3, the highest for the date since 2009, USDA data show.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.9 percent to $4.2125 a bushel on the CBOT, capping a six-session slide that is the longest slump since July 29. Earlier, the price touched $4.2075, the lowest for a most-active contract since August 2010.

The grain, used to make animal feed, cooking oil and fuel, has tumbled 40 percent this year and 50 percent from last year’s all-time high of $8.49. The U.S. harvest may be a record 14.029 billion bushels, higher than the government’s forecast of 13.843 billion in September, according to a Bloomberg survey. The USDA is scheduled to update its estimate on Nov. 8.

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