Bloomberg News

Soybeans Gain as Dry Weather Threatens to Reduce U.S. Crop

May 29, 2012

Soybeans rose for a third straight session on speculation that unusually hot, dry weather may prompt U.S. farmers to reduce the number of acres planted in fields where winter wheat has been harvested.

Record heat, little rain and windy conditions eroded soil moisture in much of the southern Midwest and Mississippi River Valley during the past three days, World Weather Inc. said in a report. Rains beginning May 31 may not provide enough coverage to prevent increased crop stress from warmer temperatures next week, the private forecaster said.

“There are several areas of the Midwest that missed weekend rains, and crop stress is already evident,” Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “People are starting to dial back ideas that farmers will sharply increase double- crop soybeans because of the dry soils.”

Soybean futures for July delivery climbed 0.3 percent to close at $13.8675 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after rising 1.4 percent the prior two sessions. The most-active contract has dropped 7.9 percent this month, trimming this year’s gain to 15 percent after hot, dry weather cut output in South America and boosted demand for U.S. supply.

Futures for delivery in November, after the harvest, added 0.3 percent to $12.935 a bushel.

Farmers had planted about 76 percent of the soybean crop as of May 20, ahead of the previous five-year average of 42 percent, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week. About 35 percent of the plants had emerged from the soil, up from 10 percent a year earlier. The USDA is scheduled to revise the estimates for planting progress at 4 p.m. in Washington.

The U.S. was the world’s largest producer and exporter of soybeans last year. Soybeans are the second-biggest U.S. crop after corn, valued at $35.8 billion in 2011, 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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