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Wheat Falls on Bets Demand Will Ebb as Economies Falter

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat futures fell for the second time in three sessions on speculation that commodity demand will ebb on mounting concern that the economies of Europe and China will falter.

Germany and France disagreed on a timetable for starting joint oversight of Europe’s banking sector, signaling the European fiscal crisis will persist. Chinese companies are less optimistic about sales than they were three months ago and are cutting jobs, according to a survey by CBB International LLC. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials dropped as much as 1.5 percent, and global equities dropped.

“When the outside markets are on the defensive, the grains are going to have a hard time improving,” Jason Britt, the president of Central States Commodities Inc., a brokerage in Kansas City, Missouri, said in a telephone interview. “The funds are liquidating their positions.”

Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 0.6 percent to settle at $8.92 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price slumped 2.9 percent last week, partly on speculation that global demand will fall.

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

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net

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

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