Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures rose to the highest in more than a week on signs of increasing demand from China, the world’s largest importer, while dry weather threatened crops in Argentina. Wheat and corn also gained.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said that exporters sold 120,000 metric tons of soybeans for delivery to China by Aug. 31. The crop in Argentina, the world’s third- biggest shipper, may be 50 million tons, trailing last month’s forecast of 52 million, said Oil World, a Hamburg-based research company.
“China was out of the market last week from their Lunar New Year, and you could see the impact of the bean sale,” Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. In Argentina, “they’ve gone eight weeks with subpar moisture for their main growing region,” he said.
Soybean futures for May delivery rose 0.8 percent to settle at $14.685 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price reached $14.77, the highest since Feb. 8. Trading volume was 65 percent higher than the 100-day average.
The U.S. was the biggest exporter last year, followed by Brazil.
Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.9 percent to $7.4525 a bushel, the fourth gain in five sessions. Egypt, the largest importer, bought 60,000 tons in a tender today from suppliers in the U.S., the top shipper.
Corn futures for May delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $6.9625 a bushel.
In the U.S., corn is the biggest crop, valued at $77.4 billion in 2012, followed by soybeans at $43.2 billion, government figures show. Wheat is the fourth-largest at $17.9 billion, behind hay.
--With assistance from Ola Galal in Cairo. Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Thomas Galatola