Demand, weather boost soybean futures
U.S. soybean futures rose 0.4% Wednesday, supported by strong export demand and continued concerns about the health of the crop after recent dryness in the Midwest.
Corn and wheat prices also gained.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced sales of 1.93 million metric tons of soybeans to China and 182,000 tons to unknown destinations for delivery in the 2013-14 marketing year, the fifth-largest daily soybean export sale on record.
Gains in soybean futures were tempered as market participants had anticipated the sale after an announcement on Monday saying China would purchase more of the oilseeds from the U.S.
Soybean prices also rose on speculation that rain forecast for this week may not help soybeans that are almost ready to be harvested. Soybean fields in Iowa, Illinois and other growing states have been afflicted by hot, dry weather since early August.
"Anytime we see China come in and buy, it confirms that our export business is good," said Jacquie Voeks, a senior market adviser for Stewart-Peterson Group, commodity consulting firm in Mahomet, Ill. "The perception was that the rain was going to bring the bean crop back and that's not the case."
Soybean futures for November delivery gained 5 1/4 cents to $13.47 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Corn for December delivery on the CBOT rose 2 1/4 cents, or 0.5%, to $4.56 1/4 a bushel. Corn futures rose on speculation that even with a record harvest looming, some farmers may be unwilling to sell their grain until prices increase. The USDA projected earlier this month the U.S. harvest will total 13.8 billion bushels, breaking the record of 13.1 billion in 2009.
Wheat futures increased on signs of stronger overseas demand for U.S. inventories. Exporters shipped 9.86 million metric tons of wheat from the start of the marketing year on June 1 through Sept. 5, a 34% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to the USDA.
CBOT December wheat gained 3 1/2 cents, or 0.5%, to $6.46 1/2 a bushel.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 18, 2013 15:43 ET (19:43 GMT)
DJ Soybean Prices Rise on Strong Demand, Weather; Grains Advance -- Update->copyright
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