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Midwest drought pushes soybean prices to record prices

July 19, 2012|By Ricardo Lopez
  • Soybean plants struggle to survive in a drought-stricken farm field near Uniontown, Ky. Soybean futures have soared to record prices.
Soybean plants struggle to survive in a drought-stricken farm field near… (Scott Olson / Getty Images )

As the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to bake the nation's breadbasket, soybean futures have risen to record prices.

The unrelenting heat has damaged the country's soybean crop and fields are in their worst condition since 1988, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week.

Soybean futures for November delivery rose Thursday 1.8%, to $16.49 a bushel, at the Chicago Board of Trade. The previous record price was $16.37 in July 2008.

Soybean-meal futures for December delivery also rose by almost 2%, to $487.80 for 2,000 pounds.

Drought watchers said that more than 70% of the Midwest was in some stage of drought, with more than half of the region in "severe" to "exceptional" drought, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report.

In Iowa, the country's top corn and soybean producer, more than half the state was in severe drought this week, a leap from from 13% last week.

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ricardo.lopez2@latimes.com

Follow Ricardo Lopez on Twitter.

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