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Soybeans Fall to Six-Week Low on Slowing Global Growth

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May 14 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell to the lowest in more than six weeks on speculation that Europe’s worsening debt crisis and slowing Chinese economy will curb demand for food, feed and fuel made from the oilseed. Corn rose.

The dollar climbed to a three-month high versus the euro, increasing costs for overseas buyers of U.S. grains and reducing investor demand for commodities as a hedge against inflation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. cut Chinese growth forecasts after government reports last week showed industrial production grew at the slowest pace since 2009 in April.

“Soybeans are trading lower on forecasts for slowing global growth,” Chad Henderson, a market analyst for Prime Agricultural Consultants Inc. in Brookfield, Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview. “Speculators are dumping long positions in soybeans.”

Soybean futures for July delivery declined 1.4 percent to close at $13.87 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the fifth drop in six sessions. Earlier, the most-active contract touched $13.76, the lowest since March 30.

Corn futures for July delivery rose 0.3 percent to $5.83 a bushel in Chicago. On May 11, the grain touched $5.7225, the lowest since Oct. 3. Prices have fallen 9.8 percent this year as U.S. farmers told the government in March they intend to plant the most acres since 1937.

The U.S. was the largest producer and exporter of both crops last year. Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

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

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