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Soybeans Drop as U.S. Reserves Seen Gaining; Wheat, Corn Decline

Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell the most in two weeks after a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed stockpiles will surge as output recovers from a drought in 2012. Wheat and corn futures also declined.

Stockpiles of soybeans in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter, will reach 250 million bushels by Aug. 31, 2014, before next year’s harvest, up from 125 million a year earlier, the USDA said. Domestic production will jump 13 percent from this year’s harvest to 3.405 billion bushels, the agency said.

“These USDA outlook numbers are bearish,” Joseph Vaclavik, the president at Standard Grain Inc. in Chicago, said by telephone. “They’re projecting the carryout is going to be double what we have this year, and they’re anticipating we’re going to have good production.”

Soybean futures for delivery in May fell 1.8 percent to settle at $14.4375 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the first decline since Feb. 14 and the most since Feb. 8. Trading volume was more than double the average over the past 100 days.

Earlier, prices rose as much as 1.8 percent because of shipping delays from a six-hour port strike in Brazil. A union leader said workers aim to reach an accord with the government to secure union jobs in a proposed port-investment bill by March 15, or they may go on strike again.

Wheat futures for May delivery fell 0.7 percent at $7.1875 a bushel on the CBOT. The price fell 4 percent this week, the most since the week ended Jan. 4. A winter storm dumped as much as 17 inches (43 centimeters) of snow in parts of Kansas, the biggest U.S. grower of winter varieties, easing concern that drought will limit production in the Great Plains.

Corn futures for delivery in May fell 0.2 percent to $6.8425 a bushel in Chicago. The grain dropped 1.8 percent this week, the third straight decline.

To contact the reporters on this story: Luzi Ann Javier in Singapore at ljavier@bloomberg.net; 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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