Bloomberg News

Soybeans, Corn Climb as Smaller Argentina Crops Boost U.S. Sales

March 23, 2012

Soybeans and corn rebounded from one-week lows on speculation that declining production in Argentina will boost demand for U.S. exports.

Soybean output in Argentina, the world’s largest shipper of cooking oil and animal feed made from the oilseed, will fall to 44 million metric tons this year, down from 49 million collected in 2011 and 46.5 million estimated by the U.S. government this month, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday. The corn harvest may fall to 21 million from 22.5 million last year.

“Smaller crops in Argentina mean global supplies are getting tight, and that could boost overseas purchases from the U.S.,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview.

Soybean futures for May delivery advanced 1.2 percent to close at $13.6575 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after prices yesterday touched $13.385, the lowest since March 13. Still, the oilseed fell 0.6 percent this week, snapping five straight weekly gains.

Corn futures for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to $6.465 a bushel in Chicago, trimming this week’s loss to 3.9 percent, the most in 10 weeks.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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