Soybeans increased on Friday on concerns that strikes in South America, that disrupted exports, will increase demand for supplies from the U.S.

Soybean futures for May delivery increased by 1.6 percent or 20 cents, to $12.77 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean prices had increased by 0.8 percent reaching $11.065 on April 1.

Bean futures increased by 68 percent last year and posted the highest gain of $15.8625 on March 3.

Soybean oil futures for May delivery increased by 2.2 percent or 1.24 cents to 56.61 cents a pound on the Chicago Board of Trade.

There are labor strikes at Paranagua, the biggest soybean shipping port in Brazil that slowed the unloading of trucks this week.

In Argentine, the biggest soybean-oil exporter, farm groups were also protesting the increase of taxes, blocking shipments for three weeks before the strike was suspended on April 2.

The Department of Agriculture said U.S. soybean export sales to China, the world's biggest importer of soybeans and vegetable oils were 226,000 metric tons.

The USDA forecasted soybean exports to fall by 8.3 percent in the year ending Aug. 31.