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Soybeans, Corn Drop as U.S. Harvest Nears Finish; Wheat Falls

Soybeans and corn fell in Chicago as the U.S. harvest neared completion. Wheat slid on speculation that the dollar’s advance may slow demand for U.S. crops.

U.S. farmers collected 83 percent of the national corn crop and about 91 percent of soybeans, the Department of Agriculture said in a report this week. The U.S. Dollar Index, a six-currency gauge of the greenback’s strength, rose as much as 0.6 percent today. A stronger dollar makes U.S. crops more expensive for importers using other currencies.

“It’s harvest season” in the U.S., said Bill Adams, manager of ACT Macro in Zurich, who trades currencies and commodities. “We know that the crop is going to be good. The market doesn’t expect any big orders from now until the end of the year. The dollar is playing a part.”

Soybeans for January delivery dropped 13 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $12.18 a bushel at 1:14 p.m. London time on the Chicago Board of Trade. The oilseed touched $12.405, the highest level for a most-active contract since Sept. 4, 2008.

Corn for December delivery fell 4.5 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $5.665 a bushel, reversing a gain of as much as 0.8 percent. A decline today would be the first this week.

Wheat for December delivery slid 0.5 cent, or 0.1 percent, to $6.915 a bushel. The most-active contract is up 2.6 percent this month.

Chinese Demand

Before today, corn jumped 53 percent since the end of June, soybeans rose 36 percent and wheat surged 44 percent on speculation that adverse weather would curb global production and demand from China increased.

“Higher prices may curb buyers’ interest, while U.S. farmers will slow sales as they bet that prices will resume the uptrend,” said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at IDO Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The dollar’s strength will also put a lid on any rally in commodities.”

Milling wheat for January delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris was unchanged at 214.75 euros ($296.68) a metric ton.

Wheat-growing areas in the central and southern U.S. Plains for the hard, red winter variety will get “minimal to non-existent” rainfall in the next 14 days, Chicago-based QT Weather said yesterday in a report.

About 47 percent of the U.S. wheat crop was rated good to excellent in the week ended Oct. 24, down from 62 percent a year earlier, the USDA said Oct. 25.

Great Plains

Crop conditions last week were rated at the lowest level for the period since 2001.

“Drought is the culprit affecting the key bread-wheat states in the Great Plains and mid-South,” Gail Martell, president of in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, said yesterday in a report.

Rough rice declined for the first time in 12 days. The grain for January delivery lost 14 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $14.915 per 100 pounds in Chicago. Before today, futures rose 16 percent since Oct. 11 as Typhoon Megi hurt Thai and Vietnamese crops, floods in Pakistan drowned plants and hot, dry weather curbed U.S. production.

Thailand is the world’s largest rice exporter, followed by Vietnam, Pakistan and the U.S.

“Rice production will become an issue next year,” Prasert Gosalvitra, head of Thailand’s state-run Rice Department, said in a phone interview. “Supply will become tight, driving prices higher.”

The USDA lowered its estimate for global milled rice output to 452.5 million tons on Oct. 8, 171,000 tons short of forecast demand. The global production deficit, the first in four years, may be even wider because typhoons and flooding hit Southeast Asia days after the release of the estimate.

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