"The Informa number was a big boost to soy futures, taking it from the weak link in the grain complex to a leader," said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting, a brokerage firm in Indiana.
Soybeans for May delivery closed up 27 1/4 cents, or 2%, to $13.62 1/2 a bushel. Soft red winter wheat for May delivery rose 12 3/4 cents, or 1.8%, to $7.23.
Rice futures rose with the rest of the grain markets, with the May contract gaining 2.8% to $13.63 1/2 per hundredweight. Informa predicted farmers will plant rice on 3.2 million acres, down 431,000 acres from last year but up 320,000 from the firm's January estimate.
Ethanol for May delivery jumped 3.4% to $2.483 per gallon as corn rallied. Oats for May delivery surged 5.1% to $3.52 a bushel as the market recovered from a seven-month low Wednesday.
Soy product futures strengthened with soybeans. CBOT May soyoil settled 2.3% higher at 55.77 cents per pound, while CBOT May soymeal finished up 2.6% at a two-week high of $367.90 per short ton.
At the Kansas City Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat for May delivery rose 1.7% to $8.45 a bushel. Hard red spring wheat for May delivery was up 1.5% at $8.67 1/2.