Soybeans, corn gain on speculation China is buying U.S. supplies

Soybeans rose the most in five weeks and corn climbed on speculation that China has boosted purchases from the U.S., the world’s largest exporter. Wheat also gained.

China has bought about 20 cargoes of U.S. corn in October, Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. wrote on its website today. U.S. supplies delivered to China are $2.40 a bushel cheaper than domestic prices, according to the Linn Group. U.S. soybean export prices are about $1.25 a bushel cheaper than supplies from Brazil, boosting demand, the researcher said. A 16-day U.S. government shutdown that ended yesterday with a new budget agreement has limited data on crop prices and export sales.

Prices “are rising on speculation that China bought more than 3 million tons of soybeans and up to 2.5 million tons of U.S. corn the past three weeks,” Roy Huckabay, an executive vice president at Chicago-based Linn Group, said in a telephone interview. “The trade is expecting those sales to be announced shortly, now that the government is back to work.”

Soybean futures for delivery in November jumped 1.3% to close at $12.9325 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Sept. 12.

Corn futures for delivery in December rose 0.1% to $4.43 a bushel in Chicago, heading for the first weekly increase in three weeks.

In the 12 months that started Oct. 1, China’s soybean imports may jump 16% to a record 69 million metric tons from a year earlier, and corn shipments might more than double to 7 million tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Sept. 12.

Reports Canceled

The government shutdown, which began Oct. 1, deprived investors of daily and weekly USDA export sales. The monthly reports on U.S. and world supply and demand for major crops including soybean, corn and wheat originally scheduled for Oct. 14 were canceled today, the agency said. The next update will be on Nov. 8.

Wheat rose on concern that cold weather may harm crops in Argentina and excessive rain might delay harvesting in Brazil, boosting demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper.

Wheat futures for delivery in December added 0.7% to $6.86 a bushel on the CBOT, snapping a two-day decline.

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