Soybeans rose for a sixth straight session, touching the highest since June, on increased demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter after Brazil. Wheat fell, while corn was steady.
U.S. exporters sold 327,706 metric tons of the oilseed in the week ended Feb. 20, up almost fourfold from a week earlier, the Department of Agriculture said today in a report. The USDA announced today that 112,000 tons of soybeans were sold to China for delivery before Aug. 31. On Feb. 25, exporters announced sales of 568,000 tons to unknown buyers.
"Export sales are rising, boosting demand and prices to get supplies from farmers," Jeff Beal, a market analyst for the Gulke Group Inc. in Rockford, Ill., said in a telephone interview. "Exporters will be aggressively bidding for supplies."
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 1.7 percent to $14.2125 a bushel at 11:13 a.m on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $14.455, the highest for a most-active contract since June 6. Soybeans have gained 11 percent gain this month, the most since August.
Total sales for delivery before Aug. 31 are up 26 percent to 43.468 million tons from the same time a year ago, compared with the USDA’s annual forecast for a 14 percent gain. Argentina, the biggest shipper of soy-based animal feed and cooking oils, last month posted the smallest trade surplus since March 2001 after grain exports plumged, the government said Feb. 21.
"There are no soybeans getting sold by farmers in Argentina, and that is shifting demand to U.S. supplies," Beal said. "Farmers are holding soybeans as a hedge against inflation."
Wheat extended losses amid speculation that export sales will ease from the U.S., the top shipper.
Wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.2 percent to $6.0425 a bushel, after a 2 percent plunge yesterday that was the biggest drop since Jan. 29.
Corn futures for May delivery were unchanged at $4.61 a bushel, after touching $4.65 yesterday, the highest for a most- active contract since Sept. 17.