Soybeans Cap Biggest Three-Day Gain Since November on Demand

Apr 16, 2014 5:01 pm ET

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- Soybean futures in Chicago capped the biggest three-day gain since November after a report showed record demand from U.S. mills. Corn and wheat fell.

Processors crushed 153.84 million bushels in March, up 12 percent from a year earlier and the most for the month since at least 1998, the National Oilseed Processors Association reported yesterday. Louis Dreyfus in the past week raised premiums paid for beans for immediate delivery at Claypool, Indiana, by 59 percent to 65 cents a bushel over Chicago futures, the highest since September, data from DTN show.

“Soybeans are going to keep moving higher until demand slows in the domestic markets and overseas customers cancel purchases to switch to cheaper South American supplies,” said Mark Schultz, the chief analyst for Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis. “Rising premiums are a sign that processors can’t find enough soybeans.”

Soybean futures for delivery in July rose 1.4 percent to close at $15.0875 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices advanced 4.2 percent this week, the biggest three- day gain since Nov. 25.

The Department of Agriculture said last week that U.S. soybean stockpiles at the end of August will be 135 million bushels, down from its 145 million forecast in March and below 141 million last year.

Wheat futures for delivery in July fell 2 percent to $6.9525 a bushel. The grain has risen 15 percent this year as U.S. crop conditions deteriorated and tension escalated between Russia and Ukraine, the fifth- and sixth-biggest shippers.

Widespread rain forecast for the U.S. Great Plains over the next seven days will aid wheat development, Schultz said. Warmer, drier weather into early May should allow U.S. farmers to accelerate corn planting, increasing the yield potential of the nation’s biggest crop, he said.

Corn futures for delivery in July dropped 1.2 percent to $5.035 a bushel, the biggest decline in two weeks.

--With assistance from Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur, Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne.