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Corn Falls the Most in a Week on Slowing Demand; Soybeans Drop

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Corn fell the most in a week on slowing demand for supplies from the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter. Soybeans declined for the first time in three sessions.

As of Dec. 6, corn sales for delivery before Sept. 1 fell 46 percent to 12.488 million tons from a year earlier, the lowest since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began reporting the data in 1990, the USDA said. Output of grain-based ethanol, a gasoline additive, tumbled 1.3 percent in the week ended Dec. 7 from a week earlier, and inventories rose to the highest since June 29, U.S. Energy Department data show.

“Export demand is disappointing and ethanol production is slowing,” Joseph Vaclavik, the president of Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Everyone is waiting for lower prices before extending purchases.”

Corn futures for March delivery declined 0.9 percent to close at $7.24 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest drop since Dec. 10. Still, the grain has gained 12 percent this year after drought cut U.S. production 13 percent to a six-year low.

Soybean futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $14.8825 a bushel in Chicago, after gaining 1.4 percent the prior two sessions on rising export demand. Most-active futures have risen 23 percent this year after a drought in the U.S. triggered concern supplies will fall short of growing demand from China.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

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

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