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Corn, Wheat Drop on Speculation Demand May Slow; Soy Unchanged

May 19 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and wheat futures fell on bets that U.S. supplies may be adequate, indicating yesterday’s rally was exaggerated. Soybeans were unchanged.

Yesterday, corn surged 4.1 percent and wheat soared 6.9 percent. The gains may have been overdone because the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week that corn supplies at the end of this year will be bigger than expected, said Dale Durchholz of AgriVisor LLC.

Grain prices “are up at lofty levels,” Durchholz, a senior market analyst, said from Bloomington, Illinois. Food and ethanol makers “are unwilling to chase the game up here, especially coming after last week’s supply-and-demand report from the USDA saying things are a little more comfortable,” he said.

Corn futures for July delivery fell 1.5 cents, or 0.2 percent, to settle at $7.4825 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, ending a five-session rally. The price has more than doubled in the past year on tightening global supplies and increasing demand from grain-based fuel producers and livestock farmers.

The USDA said on May 11 that unsold domestic supplies before this year’s harvest may total 730 million bushels, up 8.1 percent from its April estimate. Inventories still headed for the lowest since 1996.

Wheat futures for July delivery fell 5 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $8.12 a bushel. The price has climbed 73 percent in the past year.

Soybean futures for July delivery closed at $13.795 a bushel after gaining 2.9 percent yesterday. The oilseed has climbed 47 percent in the past year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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