Soybean futures shot up more than 40 cents a bushel after Argentina's Government failed to resolve a farmers' dispute over export taxes, raising concerns of more protests that could slow grain shipments.
Other commodities traded mostly higher amid light trading heading into Memorial Day weekend, with crude oil gaining slightly and gold, silver, copper and corn futures also rising.
Argentina farmers went on strike last month in a bid to overturn a sharply higher export tax on soybeans and other products, a protest that slowed grain exports from the world's third-largest soybean producer after the United States and Brazil.
Analysts said prices were boosted by news reports that farmers have temporarily halted the strike but failed to end the dispute at a meeting on Thursday night with government officials. That raised concerns that farmers may call another strike and disrupt exports.
Elaine Kub, grains analyst with DTN in Omaha, said reports of the dispute have fed "concerns that Argentina soybeans won't make it to market", straining world supplies of the oil seed used to feed people and make bio-fuel. "That's bringing buyers into the market but not sellers," said Kub, who added that a weaker US dollar and record high oil prices were also driving prices higher.
Soybeans for July delivery jumped 43.25 cents to settle at $13.68 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, after earlier rising as high as $13.71 a bushel.
Other agriculture commodities traded mostly higher. Wheat futures for July delivery added 7.5 cents to settle at $7.525 a bushel on the CBOT.