Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- 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 headed for 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 another 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 1.2 percent to $14.5675 a bushel at 10:14 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, heading for the biggest gain since Feb. 19. Still, a close at that price would be the fifth monthly decline in six, on forecasts for record harvests in South America to increase supplies.
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.
Soybean-meal futures for May delivery jumped 1.8 percent to $436.30 for 2,000 pounds, heading for a second straight monthly gain.
Corn futures for May delivery advanced 1.3 percent to $7.04 a bushel in Chicago, heading for the first four-day rally since Jan. 31. A close at that price would mark a monthly drop of 5 percent, on speculation that record crops in South America will relieve tight global supplies after the worst U.S. drought in more than seven decades cut production 13 percent last year.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $77.4 billion in 2012, followed by soybeans at $43.2 billion, government figures show.
--Editors: Thomas Galatola, Millie Munshi
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at firstname.lastname@example.org