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New Delhi — Persistent dry weather in the Midwest is expected to support soybean harvesting in 2020-21 marketing year (September – August), the US Department of Agriculture said Sept. 18.

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Typically, US soybean harvest starts in early September and rains can delay the process.

"In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather favors corn and soybean maturation and early-season harvest efforts," the USDA said.

September also brings the possibility of frost damage to the soybean crop in the northern Corn Belt region, a US climatologist said. However, the August heat made sure that the beans mature quickly this year, she added.

US soybean experienced extremely dry August and drought-like conditions emerged in major soy producing state of Iowa, which impacted the crop's ratings.

As of Sept. 13, the US' soybean crop condition has fallen by two percentage points week on week to 63% of the total rated good to excellent, which is an abrupt decline of ten points within a month, data released on Sept. 14 by the US Department of Agriculture showed.

Dry weather is expected to prevail for the coming weeks as well, which signals swift soybean harvesting in the core regions of the Midwest.

The drier pattern in the Plains, southern and western Midwest, Delta, and Southeast will favor corn, soybean, and cotton harvesting, weather agency Maxar said Sept. 17. Rains in the northeastern Midwest should result in only minor harvest delays for corn and soybeans, it added.

A swift soybean harvest is expected to pressure US soybean futures price in coming days, which has been trading at multi-year high recently on strong China demand.

Soybean sales are at 1.188 billion bu, compared to 410.8 million a year ago, with majority of purchases done by China, according to the latest USDA's trade data.

November futures have risen over $0.355/bu week on week – the first time since the beginning of US-China trade dispute that prices have traded higher than $10/bushel, an agricultural analyst said Sept. 18.

The USDA has forecast the country's soybean yield at 51.9 bu/acre, up 9% on the year, and output at 117.38 million mt in 2020-21, up 22% year on year.