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Soybeans Extend Best Week in Three Months on South American Crop

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans rose in Chicago, extending the biggest weekly gain in three months, on concern dryness in Brazil and rain in Argentina will threaten supply as demand strengthens in leading global consumer China.

In Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter, 77 percent of crops were planted, down from 86 percent a year earlier, researcher AgRural Commodities Agricolas said yesterday. About 37 percent of Argentine soybeans were sown, against 47 percent a year ago, the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said Nov. 22. China bought 16.8 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans since Sept. 1, up 14 percent from a year ago and 62 percent of total U.S. shipments, Department of Agriculture data show.

“There’s still some concern about dryness in northern Brazil and some wet weather that’s delayed plantings in Argentina,” Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said by phone from Singapore. “With the break in prices we’ve seen since the September highs, we’ve started to see demand come back.”

Soybeans for delivery in January advanced 0.6 percent to $14.2725 a bushel at 7:24 a.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed climbed 2.6 percent last week, the best performance for a most-active contract since the five days ended Aug. 24.

Soybeans surged to a record in September after the worst U.S. drought in half a century parched fields. Prices have since slumped 20 percent, trimming this year’s gain to 18 percent. Researcher Oil World cut its output-growth forecast for South America by 8 percent on Nov. 20.

Corn, Wheat

Corn for delivery in March added 0.7 percent to $7.5475 a bushel. The grain touched $7.57, the highest price since Nov. 9.

Wheat for March delivery rose 0.4 percent to $8.65 a bushel. In Paris, milling wheat for January delivery gained 0.3 percent to 270.50 euros ($350.70) a ton on NYSE Liffe. Prices are up 33 percent this year in Chicago and 39 percent in Paris after dry weather cut yields in Russia and eastern Europe and as U.S. winter crops are threatened by drought.

U.S. exporters sold 657,416 tons of wheat in the week ended Nov. 15, more than double the prior week’s amount, the USDA said Nov. 23. U.S. grain is becoming more competitive for buyers in North Africa after price gains in Paris outpaced Chicago, Arnaud Saulais, a broker at Starsupply Commodity Brokers in Nyon, Switzerland, said in an e-mailed report today.

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