Soybeans Drop to Five-Week Low on Bets Demand to Ebb; Corn Falls

Soybeans fell to a five-week low on speculation that demand for U.S. crops will ease after prices this month surged to a record. Corn dropped to the cheapest in two months as an accelerating Midwest harvest boosts supplies.

Demand will ebb for cooking oil and biofuel made from soybeans after prices surged since mid-June because of a U.S. drought, Thomas Mielke, the executive director of Oil World, said yesterday. In China, the world’s biggest oilseed importer, soybean-oil prices fell the most in three months amid economic concerns.

“Soybeans are falling on fears of less Chinese demand for U.S. supplies,” said Greg Grow, the director of agribusiness at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago. “Economic growth is slowing more than expected in China.”

Soybean futures for November delivery slid 0.7 percent to close at $16.10 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. Earlier, the price touched $15.9025, the lowest for a most-active contract since Aug. 14. The oilseed has dropped 10 percent from a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.

Corn futures for December delivery declined 0.5 percent to $7.4475 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $7.3625, the lowest since July 13. The grain has dropped 12 percent since touching a record $8.49 on Aug. 10.

Dry weather this week will allow farmers to accelerate collection of this year’s crops. The corn harvest probably was 45 percent completed as of yesterday, along with 20 percent for soybeans, Grow said.

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

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