Soybeans headed for a third week of gains as demand for U.S. supplies rose and drought threatened to curb South American crops.
The May-delivery contract fell 0.4 percent to $13.1775 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 1:15 p.m. London time, still set for a 2.4 percent advance this week. The most active- contract rose 0.2 percent yesterday, the ninth straight gain and the longest string of increases since July 15. The oilseed reached $13.2425 on Feb. 29, the highest price since Sept. 21.
“Soybeans prices continue to be supported by crop concerns in South America and strong U.S. export demand,” Kate Tang, an analyst at London-based Barclays Capital, said today in an e- mailed report.
Exporters in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, sold 976,380 metric tons in the week ended Feb. 23, with China, the biggest consumer, buying 69 percent of the total, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday. Reduced South American production will boost U.S. exports 22 percent to a record 42.2 million tons in the year that begins Sept. 1, the USDA said last month.
U.S. exporters have already sold 28.9 million tons of soybeans for delivery in the year ending Aug. 31, including the 5.5 million tons that had yet to be shipped as of Feb. 23, USDA data showed. Fourteen of 22 traders and analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect soybean prices to rise next week. The oilseed has gained 9.1 percent this year.
Corn traders and analysts are the most bullish in seven weeks, with 14 of 22 surveyed also anticipating higher prices next week. Corn rose 0.7 percent this year.
Corn for May delivery declined 0.5 percent to $6.5075 a bushel, paring the weekly gain to 1.1 percent. Wheat for delivery in the same month was down 0.4 percent at $6.615 a bushel, still set for a 3.2 percent advance this week.
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