Soybean Futures Climb as Drought in Brazil Seen Hurting Output

Feb 20, 2014 6:38 am ET

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose for the second time in three days amid concern that Brazil’s worst drought in decades will hurt crops in the biggest exporter of the oilseed.

Soybeans in southern Brazil started deteriorating in the past three to four weeks due to worsening dryness, which is significant because February is the main pod-filling month for the crop, farm-weather forecaster Martell Crop Projections wrote in a report yesterday.

“Brazil is the main issue here,” Paul Deane, a senior analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney, said today by phone. “It’s also probably a bit more about demand being pushed back to the U.S. too, because of the dryness in South America.”

Soybeans for May delivery on the Chicago Board of Trade increased 0.1 percent to $13.4225 a bushel by 5:22 a.m. after earlier today jumping 0.5 percent. Futures reached $13.585 yesterday, the highest level since Sept. 19.

China will probably import more soybeans this year, said Faiyaz Hudani, an associate vice president at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd., a Mumbai-based broker. The biggest importer is expected to buy 69 million tons in 2013-2014, from 59.9 million tons a year earlier, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

Corn for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $4.575 a bushel. Futures gained 8.4 percent this year.

Wheat for delivery in May fell 0.4 percent to $6.11 a bushel in Chicago. Milling wheat for November delivery rose 0.4 percent to 190 euros ($260.13) a metric ton.

--With assistance from Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris. Editors: Ovais Subhani, Jake Lloyd-Smith