After pushing up corn, China rumors boost soybeans

AP News
Posted: Apr 20, 2012 3:58 PM
After pushing up corn, China rumors boost soybeans

On Friday, China was again the weight that moved the market for U.S. agricultural commodities.

Soybeans rose 28.5 cents, or 2 percent, to $14.495 per bushel. That's up from about $14 at the end of last month. They were pushed higher by a government report that said soybean supply will be lower than expected, and by rumors that China will increase its buying.

On Thursday corn prices rose on similar China rumors.

"It's fluctuated between whether they (China) are buying corn or whether they're buying soybeans," said Spencer Patton, founder and chief investment officer of Steel Vine Investments in Nashville. "They're probably buying both."

Patton predicted that prices for corn and soybeans will continue to rise as farmers choose which crop to plant.

Corn and wheat both fell on Friday. Corn lost 9 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $6.03 per bushel. The day before, it had jumped 18 cents on the China rumor.

Wheat fell 7 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $6.23 a bushel on Friday.

Most metals rose. Gold for June delivery rose $1.40 to $1,642.80 per ounce. May copper rose about 2 percent, or 7.05 cents, to $3.698 per ounce. June palladium also rose about 2 percent, or $13.60, to $676.90 per ounce. July platinum rose $6.20 to $1,584.20 per ounce. May silver was the outlier, falling 12.8 cents to $31.651 per ounce.

Crude oil prices climbed after an important German survey found that business confidence had improved there, which could drive up demand for oil and other commodities. Benchmark U.S. crude rose 78 cents to finish at $103.05 per barrel in New York, while Brent crude added 76 cents to end at $118.76 in London.

Tension in Iran also pushed up prices. Iran's oil minister said his country might cut sales to more European countries if the 27-nation bloc failed to show more flexibility during talks next month about Iran's nuclear program.

In other trading, heating oil rose a little more than 1 cent to finish at $3.14 per gallon, gasoline futures fell about a cent to end at $3.14 per gallon and natural gas rose 2 cents to finish at $1.93 per 1,000 cubic feet.