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Demand sends soybeans to two-month high

Updated: 11/26/2013 @ 10:19am

Soybean futures closed at the highest level in more than two months on signs of strong demand for inventories from the U.S., the world's biggest exporter of the oilseeds behind Brazil. Corn and wheat also gained.

Inspections of U.S. soybeans for export totaled 66.934 million bushels in the week through Nov. 21, the Department of Agriculture said in a report on Monday. While that was below expectations, it's still "a very large number" and demand remains strong, said Doug Bergman, a broker at RCM Asset Management in Chicago, in a report.

Overseas buyers through Nov. 14 committed to purchase 35.5 million metric tons of soybeans from the U.S. for delivery in the current marketing year that started on Sept. 1, up 32% from the same time frame a year earlier, according to the government.

"Once thing is for certain--we have a good demand picture," said Tim Hannagan, a senior grains analyst at brokerage Walsh Trading in Chicago. "China is falling over itself to buy our soybeans. It shows China is very active at these price levels."

Soybean futures for January delivery gained 9 3/4 cents, or 0.7%, to $13.29 1/4 a bushel, the highest closing price for the front-month contract on the Chicago Board of Trade since Sept. 19.

Corn futures for December delivery on the CBOT gained 2 1/2 cents, or 0.6%, to $4.24 3/4 a bushel.

Inspections of exportable U.S. corn in the week through Nov. 14 totaled 30.240 million bushels, topping analysts' expectations. Commitments from overseas importers to purchase U.S. corn since Sept. 1 have more than doubled compared with the same period last year, according to the government.

Investors who were short the market, or had bet prices would fall, probably bought back their contracts and closed out positions ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. and the end of the month, Mr. Hannagan said. Money managers were net-short 146,086 corn contracts as of Nov. 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in a Friday report.

Wheat futures for December delivery rose three cents, or 0.5%, to $6.52 1/2 a bushel, gaining on signs of strong demand. Wheat exports from June 1 through Nov. 14 totaled 16.7 million metric tons, a 45% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the USDA.

Write to Tony C. Dreibus at tony.dreibus@wsj.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 25, 2013 15:25 ET (20:25 GMT)
DJ Soybeans Close at 2-Month High on Demand for U.S. Supplies -- Update->copyright

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