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Soybeans Drop After Rally Spurs Farmer Sales; Wheat Declines

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Soybeans fell the most in three weeks as the highest prices this year prompted U.S. farmers to boost sales and processors offered smaller premiums for deliveries. Wheat futures also slid while corn rose.

Processors in Mankato, Minnesota, cut the premium to 6 cents a bushel over July futures yesterday, down from 80 cents a week earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Export terminals near New Orleans cut premiums to 86 cents over Chicago futures for July delivery today, down from $1.48 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prices surged as much as 11 percent since the end of April, reaching a six-month high yesterday.

“The soybean basis is retreating in both the U.S. and South America, after farmers increased sales this week,” Richard Feltes, the vice president of research for R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Crushers now have enough supplies until the end of June.”

Soybean futures for delivery in July slid 1.6 percent to close at $14.7625 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, paring this week gain to 1.9 percent. It was the fourth straight weekly increase, matching a run of advances through Feb. 1. Yesterday, the price touched $15.4675, the highest for a most-active contract since Nov. 2.

Soybeans for delivery in November, after the harvest, rose 0.4 percent to $12.4775 on forecasts that wet weather will slow planting in the U.S., increasing the risk of lower yields.

Trading of oilseed and grain futures in Chicago will be closed May 27 for a national holiday.

Wheat futures for July delivery declined 0.8 percent to $6.975 a bushel on the CBOT. Prices gained 2.1 percent this week on speculation that demand for U.S. inventories would increase. U.S. exporters sold 180,000 metric tons of soft red winter wheat to China, the USDA announced today.

Corn futures for December delivery rose 0.3 percent to $5.365 a bushel in Chicago. The contract has fallen 11 percent this year as farmers plan to sow the most acres since 1936 and rains have replenished soil moisture after last year’s drought.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@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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