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Wheat Falls as Dry Spell Aids Black Sea Crop; Corn Rises

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Wheat fell from a four-month high on speculation that drier weather will boost crop prospects in the Black Sea region, reducing demand for exports from the U.S., the world’s top shipper. Corn and soybeans rose.

Warm conditions in the next two weeks in parts of the former Soviet Union will help farmers finish sowing in the southern region and boost crops in the north before winter, Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said in a report. Rain in the past three days boosted some plants in Argentina, the company said.

“The improved weather for final planting progress in parts of the Black Sea region reduced the fears of a 20 percent drop in output,” Darrell Holaday, the president of Advanced Market Concepts in Wamego, Kansas, said in a telephone interview. “Rains should be beneficial for Argentina yields.”

Wheat futures for December delivery dropped 0.9 percent to settle at $6.9975 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, after touching $7.1125, the highest for a most-active contract since June 21.

Argentina’s production may be higher than the government forecast last week, Holaday said.

Dry weather will aid in final planting in the U.S. Great Plains during the next 10 days, Commodity Weather Group said. The Department of Agriculture will probably say in a report later today that the nation’s planting progress probably was at least 85 percent completed as of yesterday, compared with 39 percent as of Sept. 29, before the 16-day government shutdown halted agency data, Holaday said.

“Most farmers in the southern Plains will be done with planting by the end of this week,” Holaday said. “Farmers are going to plant more, and this year’s crop is in the best condition in at least five or six years.”

Corn futures for December delivery rose 0.6 percent to $4.44 a bushel on the CBOT.

Soybean futures for November delivery advanced 0.9 percent to $13.0325 a bushel. Prices touched $13.04, the highest for the most-active contract since Oct. 8. Last week, the oilseed climbed 1.9 percent on increased Chinese demand.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net; Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

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

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