Drought damage to South Africa's soybean crop, a key U.S. competitor in soybean exports, could benefit farmers in the U.S., journalgazette.net reported, quoting a grain analyst.

U.S. Department of Agriculture report forecasts the largest soybean crop ever and the second-largest corn crop.

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Jon Cavanaugh, marketing director for Central States Enterprises Inc., said that China is importing nearly 42 million metric tons of soybeans. It is expected to buy 60% of U.S. soybean exports.

Cavanaugh has reportedly predicted soybean prices to hover around $9.50 a bushel but added that demand could push prices to as high as $12 a bushel.