Soy prices jump on dry weather

images (1) U.S. soybean futures climbed Monday as it appeared the crop could miss out on badly needed rains.

Soybeans for November delivery jumped 23 1/2 cents, or 1.7%, to $14.47 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Corn for December delivery rose 3 cents, or 0.4%, to $7.70 a bushel. Soft red winter wheat for December delivery slipped 2 cents, or 0.3%, to $7.95 a bushel.

Driving soybean prices higher were forecasts for dry weather in key growing areas of the Midwest, including parts of Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The crop is in its most important period of growth and needs rain to finish developing ahead of the upcoming harvest.

"The continued dryness, along with some increased heat later this week, should allow soybean yields to decline further," said Kyle Tapley, agricultural meteorologist for EarthSat Weather Services, a private weather firm.

Traders are on edge about the weather because soybean and corn inventories are projected to reach historically low levels in the coming year. Farmers were hoping favorable conditions would lead to large harvests to replenish supplies.

The corn crop has already suffered irreversible damage due to heat and dryness in July, its most important time for development. Crop losses have already been factored into the corn market, although a surprisingly small harvest could still push prices higher, traders said. Corn for December delivery set new contract highs during overnight trading and Friday due to supply concerns but failed to reach new heights during Monday’s day session.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue an update on crop conditions in a weekly report due at 4 p.m. EDT. Ratings are expected to slip slightly for soybeans and stay steady to lower for corn.

Other Markets

December soymeal ended up 1.4% at $386.40 per short ton, while December soyoil finished up 2.2% to 58.58 cents per pound. December oats gained 1% to $3.84 a bushel, and December ethanol rose 0.07% to $2.796 per gallon. November rice jumped 1.3% to $17.54 per hundredweight.

At the Kansas City Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat for December delivery advanced 0.8% to $8.99 a bushel. Hard red spring wheat for December delivery edged up 0.2% to $9.39 a bushel at the MGEX in Minneapolis.

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