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Soybeans, Corn Drop as Rain May Boost South America Crops

Soybeans fell for the first time in four sessions and corn posted the longest slump in almost seven weeks on speculation that rain will boost yields in Argentina and Brazil, easing global supply concerns.

About 85 percent of the fields in Argentina will get as much as 0.9 inch (2.3 centimeters) of rain starting Feb. 13 with another storm expected on Feb. 17, boosting crop conditions, World Weather Inc. in Overland Park, Kansas, said in a report. Showers may aid plants in parts of southern Brazil, and harvests in northern fields might accelerate because of dry weather, the forecaster said.

“The markets are falling with a better chance of rains in Argentina and continued beneficial weather in Brazil,” Mark Schultz, the chief analyst at Northstar Commodity Investment Co. in Minneapolis, said in a telephone interview. “The crops are getting closer to harvest without significant weather problems.”

Soybean futures for March delivery dropped 0.5 percent to close at $14.875 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price climbed 1.8 percent in the previous three sessions. On Feb. 4, the oilseed reached $14.98, the highest for a most-active contract since Dec. 17.

In Chicago, corn futures for March delivery fell 0.9 percent to $7.225 a bushel. The price dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump Dec. 20. On Feb. 1, the grain reached an eight-week high of $7.4625 on speculation that dry weather would damage crops in South America.

Corn also fell as livestock producers may shift to wheat for feed following a price slump, Schultz said.

Rain and snow in the southern U.S. Great Plains in the next week may boost soil moisture for dormant wheat plants, Schultz said.

Yesterday, the premium for cash-wheat prices in Kansas City to corn fell to 0.5 cent a bushel, the lowest since June, government data show. On Nov. 8, the amount was $1.32.

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

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