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Soybeans Drop as China Bird Flu May Curb Meat Demand; Corn Falls

Soybeans fell to an 11-week low on concern that a new bird-flu strain in China will hurt meat consumption, reducing demand for livestock feed. Corn extended a slide to a nine-month low, and wheat dropped.

The H7N9 strain of avian influenza that emerged in eastern China infected at least 14 people, killing five of them, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Officials in Shanghai closed a live poultry trading area and began culling birds after a test showed the virus in pigeons, the agency reported. China is the world’s largest hog producer and biggest buyer of soybeans, used to make livestock feed. The World Health Organization sees no evidence of human-to-human transmission.