Investing.com - U.S. grain futures were mostly higher during early U.S. morning trade on Thursday, with soybean prices rising to a three-week high amid speculation a disruption to supplies from major South American growers Argentina and Brazil will lead to improved demand for U.S. soybeans.
On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for May delivery traded at USD14.2850 a bushel, up 0.4% on the day.
The May contract rose by as much as 0.5% earlier in the day to hit a session high of USD14.2900 a bushel, the strongest level since March 28.
Sentiment on the oilseed improved after German-based industry group Oil World said that logistic problems in South America may force China to buy more U.S. soybeans in coming weeks.
The Asian nation is the world's largest soybean consumer and is expected to account for nearly 60% of global trade of the grain in the 2012-13 season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soybean prices have been on an upward trend in recent sessions, rising nearly 6% since April 8, amid mounting concerns over tight U.S. supplies.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture left its forecast for domestic soybean stocks as of August 31 at 125 million bushels last week, the lowest since 2004.
Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery traded at USD6.6088 a bushel, up 0.2% on the day. The May contract was stuck in a tight trading range between USD6.5712 a bushel, the daily low and a session high of USD6.6088 a bushel.
CBOT corn prices rose to a one-week high of USD6.6512 a bushel on Wednesday, on the back of concerns over planting delays in the U.S.
The USDA said on Monday that only 2% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of last week. Approximately 16% of the crop was planted in the same week a year earlier.
Elsewhere, wheat for May delivery traded at USD7.0950 a bushel, up 0.8% on the day. The May contract rose by as much as 1% earlier to hit a session high of USD7.1112 a bushel.
Investors bought the grain amid concerns that adverse weather conditions in major wheat-growing states across the Great Plains-region will hurt the U.S. winter crop.
According to the USDA, 36% of the U.S. winter wheat crop was rated "good" to "excellent" as of last week, unchanged from the preceding week and down from 64% in the same week a year earlier.
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.
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