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Corn, Soybeans Decline on Slowing Demand for U.S. Supplies

Corn fell from a three-week high and soybeans declined after a government report showed slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest grower and exporter.

In the week ended Oct. 7, exporters sold 4,232 metric tons of corn for delivery before Aug. 31 compared with 1.26 million a year earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. Sales in the past four weeks were 89 percent below the same period in 2011. South Korea’s Nonghyup Feed Group canceled a tender for 210,000 tons of corn overnight. Soybean sales last week fell to 500,657 tons, less than half the week-earlier total and down 26 percent from a year earlier, the USDA said.

“Corn sales were extremely disappointing, suggesting overseas buyers are shopping for cheaper alternatives,” Jerry Gidel, the chief feed grain analyst for Rice Dairy LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Soybean demand slowed as it appears buyers are expecting record crops in South America to depress U.S. prices.”

Corn futures for December delivery dropped 2.7 percent to close at $7.5275 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest decline since Sept. 17. Yesterday, after the USDA forecast the tightest world inventories since 2007 because of the worst domestic drought since 1956, the price jumped to $7.76, the highest since Sept. 17.

Soybean futures for November delivery fell 1.7 percent to $15.225 a bushel on the CBOT, capping the first four-week decline since June. The price reached a record $17.89 on Sept. 4.

Corn and soybeans also fell on speculation that rain during the past two weeks and more forecast next week will improve soil moisture for planting and earlier development of both crops in South America, Gidel said. The USDA said yesterday that soybean production in Brazil and Argentina, the biggest exporters after the U.S., will rise 26 percent to a record this 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.

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