Soybeans Set for Biggest Weekly Gain Since January as China Buys

Soybeans Set for Biggest Weekly Gain Since January as China Buys

Soybeans rose in Chicago, set for the biggest weekly gain since January, on signs of sustained Chinese demand and on speculation a pickup in U.S. corn planting may leave fewer acres for sowing the oilseed.

China, the biggest soybean importer, purchased 79 percent of 346,634 metric tons sold by U.S. exporters in the week ended May 9 for delivery in the year beginning Sept. 1, the Department of Agriculture reported yesterday. That takes total U.S. sales for the next marketing year to 8.86 million tons before most farmers even planted their crops, USDA data show.

“Sustained U.S. soybean export sales to China supported soybean values,” Luke Mathews, a commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, wrote in a report today.

Soybeans for delivery in July added 0.4 percent to $14.33 a bushel at 7:41 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The weekly increase of 2.4 percent would be the biggest since the week ended Jan. 18.

Corn for delivery in July was little changed at $6.4125 a bushel on volume that was 49 percent below the 100-day average for that time of day. Prices are up 0.8 percent this week.

U.S. corn is now estimated to be about 60 percent planted, Paris-based farm adviser Agritel wrote in an online report today. As sowing of the grain progresses, there’s less risk of acres being shifted to soybeans, the company said.

“U.S. farmers may plant more corn and fewer soybeans than was previously expected,” Arnaud Saulais, a broker at Starsupply Commodity Brokers in Nyon, Switzerland, wrote in a note to clients today.

About 6 percent of the U.S. soybean crop was planted as of May 12, behind last year’s pace of 43 percent and an average of 24 percent in the previous five years, according to the USDA.

Wheat for delivery in July slipped 0.7 percent to $6.8275 a bushel, set for a 3.1 percent loss this week. Milling wheat for delivery in November traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris was unchanged at 208.50 euros ($267.46) a ton.

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier; Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4

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Felix (Kyung) Seo