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Corn, Soybeans and Wheat Decline as Crop Conditions May Improve

Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Corn and soybeans fell in Chicago as rain in Argentina and Brazil during the next few days may ease the impact of dry weather there, while wheat dropped amid expectations rain and snow will boost moisture in the U.S.

Showers in Brazil later this week and over the weekend will help ease stress to developing corn, though more rain will be needed, Telvent DTN Inc. said yesterday. Soil moisture for spring growth of wheat in the U.S. central and southern Plains will be recharged through rain or snow, it said in a report.

“Forecasters are seeing some precipitation for dry areas of South Brazil and Argentina,” FCStone Commodity Services (Europe) Ltd. wrote in an e-mailed comment today. “Rains for South America could weigh on recent buying sentiment.”

Corn for March delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $6.0325 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 2:51 p.m. Paris time, falling 4.1 percent this year. Soybeans for delivery the same month slipped 0.6 percent to $11.48 a bushel, for a decline of 18 percent in the year to date.

Wheat for March delivery fell 0.7 percent in Chicago to $6.0325 a bushel, taking the annual loss to 24 percent. Milling wheat for delivery the same month traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris rose 0.5 percent to 183.75 euros ($239.72) a metric ton.

“Going into the holidays, we’re expecting people to cover their positions so there could be more downside today,” Lynette Tan, an analyst at Phillip Futures Pte., said by phone from Singapore today.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will filter into corn, wheat, and soybean growing areas in Argentina during the next few days, which will help ease stress to crops, Telvent said.

The La Nina weather phenomenon, which can cause droughts in South America, may be near its peak and is expected to decrease in the coming months, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said on its website today. La Nina climate indicators are weaker than at the same time in 2010, the bureau said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at; Ranjeetha Pakiam in Kuala Lumpur at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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