Soybean prices are at the highest level in four years after an extended spell of hot, dry weather caused crops to droop. According to the Associated Press, soybeans for November delivery rose 51.75 cents, or 3.5 percent, to finish at $15.265 per bushel last week, the highest price since the summer of 2008. Corn
futures jumped 5 percent and wheat finished up 4.8 percent.
Global soybean supplies are low after weather damaged crops this year in South America. China and other countries have turned to the U.S. for supplies of the protein-rich beans. U.S. farmers hoping to take advantage of the increased export demand planted about 76.1 million acres of soybeans this year, the
third biggest crop on record.
But growing conditions steadily deteriorated in the U.S. after a heat wave settled in over much of the country. About 45 percent of the crop was in good to excellent condition as of Sunday, compared with 53 percent the previous week, the agency reported.
The hot, dry heat is also damaging corn in many states. Corn for December delivery rose 34 cents to finish at $7.085 per bushel. September wheat gained 38.75 cents to $8.38 per bushel.
Other commodities were mixed after Europe and China took steps to stimulate economic growth.