Soybeans Advance Most in Week on Rising Demand for U.S. Exports

May 19, 2014 4:15 pm ET

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose the most in more than a week on signs of increasing demand for U.S. supplies. Corn fell, and wheat was little changed.

Soybeans inspected for export rose 64 percent to 167,953 metric tons in the week ended May 15 compared with a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Shipments since Sept. 1 have climbed 22 percent, while sales of soybean meal since Oct. 1 rose 4.8 percent above last year’s pace, USDA data show.

“Soybean inspections were larger than expected and helped to support the rally,” Dan Cekander, the director of grain market research at Newedge USA LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.

Soybean futures for July delivery rose 1.4 percent to close at $14.8525 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since May 8. The price fell 1.5 percent last week on speculation that record supplies in South America would curtail demand for U.S. shipments.

Domestic inventories before the start of the 2014 harvest are forecast to drop to 3.8 percent of domestic use and exports, the lowest since at least 1964, USDA data show. U.S. imports are forecast to more than double to 90 million bushels, the agency estimates.

“We don’t have 90 million sold yet to the U.S.,” Cekander said. “Supplies are going to be tight.”

Soybean-meal futures for July delivery jumped 2.1 percent to $490.50 for 2,000 pounds. Earlier, the price touched $494.90, the highest for the most-active contract since September 2012.

Corn, Wheat

Corn futures for July dropped 1.3 percent to $4.7725 a bushel in Chicago, after touching $4.7625, the lowest since March 31.

Wheat futures for July delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to close at $6.745 a bushel, halting an eight-session loss. Prices reached $6.6275, the lowest since April 4.

World wheat stockpiles will rise 0.5 percent to 187.4 million metric tons by June 1, 2015, the USDA said May 9. Corn reserves before the 2015 harvest will increase for a fourth straight year, and combined grain supplies are projected at the highest since 2001, the agency forecasts.

--With assistance from Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore, Whitney McFerron in London and Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne.