Soybeans Extend Slide on Speculation Rain Aids Crop; Corn Falls

Soybean futures fell, capping the longest slump in 10 months, on speculation that rain in the past three weeks boosted U.S. crops as demand eases in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Corn declined to a six-week low.

About 32 percent of U.S. soybeans were rated good or excellent as Sept. 9, up from 30 percent a week earlier, government data showed yesterday. In August, China’s imports posted the biggest drop since February 2011. Futures have surged 27 percent since the end of May as drought scorched U.S. crops.

“The rains probably helped to marginally boost soybean yields,” Jack Scoville, a vice president at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There are some signs of slowing Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans because of the elevated price levels.”

Soybean futures for November delivery declined 1 percent to close at $17.015 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, dropping for a fifth straight session, the longest slide since late October. Earlier, the price touched $16.9875, the lowest since Aug. 21.

Macquarie Group Ltd. cut its 2012 economic growth estimate for China to 7.7 percent from 8.1 percent. Banks and brokerages including Barclays Plc and Nomura Holdings Inc. also have reduced their forecasts, partly because of a decline in industrial production.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $7.7775 a bushel. Earlier, the most-active contract touched $7.7525, the lowest since July 27.

In the U.S., corn is the biggest crop, valued at $76.5 billion in 2011, followed by soybeans at $35.8 billion, government figures show.

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