Soybean futures increased on Friday on concern that China, the world's largest consumer of vegetable oils, will increase imports in an effort to control rising prices for food in the country.

Soybeans for May delivery increased by 2.75 cents or 0.2 percent to $14.2750 a bushel in Chicago and $14.2650 in London.

Soybean futures increased by 82 percent last year after U.S. farmers planted few acres of the bean.

Soybean oil for May delivery increased by 62.40 cents a pound in Chicago.

China's Soybean imports increased by 41.5 percent, in January, to 3.4 million metric.

The Department of Agriculture forecasted that U.S. farmers will plant 71 million acres with soybeans, 12 percent high compared to 63.6 million in 2007.

Soybean prices increased by 78 percent last year after U.S. stocks were forecasted to fall by 74 percent.

Corn for May delivery dropped by 0.5 cents to $5.37 a bushel after trading as high as $5.38.

Corn for March delivery fell by 0.75 cents to $5.2375.

Corn futures increased by 20 percent last year following a high demand of the grain for the production of ethanol and livestock feed.

Heavy storms that hit China in January disrupted food supplies leading to the country's worst inflation in more than 11 years.