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Wheat Declines as China’s Slowing Economy May Curb Grain Demand

Wheat fell for the third time in four days as signs of slowing economic growth in China escalated concern that global demand may slow for commodities, including grain.

Manufacturing in China is falling in September and headed for an 11th straight contraction, according to a purchasing managers’ index released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. The preliminary reading, if confirmed, would mark the longest stretch of contraction in the survey’s eight-year history. Fifteen of the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’ GSCI Spot Index were lower today. Wheat prices are down 4.8 percent this week.

“The Chinese manufacturing numbers are not good,” Darrell Holaday, the president of Advanced Market Concepts in Wamego, Kansas, said by telephone. “There’s more and more talk hard landing for China.”

Wheat futures for December delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $8.795 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price has slumped this week partly on speculation that demand will decline.

Wheat is the fourth-largest U.S. crop, valued at $14.4 billion in 2011, behind corn, soybeans and hay, government data show.

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