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Wheat Lower on Export News

December 30, 1997

Disappointing export news and technicals sent wheat futures prices sharply lower Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Elsewhere, corn, silver, gold and meat were lower, while soybeans, palladium, platinum went higher.

Wheat for delivery in March sagged 6 cents to a contract low after traders found the credit package for South Korea because didn’t contain enough money to buy U.S. grain, Dale Gustafson, grains analyst in Chicago with Smith Barney Inc., said.

On the technical side, Prudential Securities sold 2 million bushels of March wheat.

Soybeans were supported by a record high weekly domestic crush report released early in the session, he said.

Wheat for March delivery fell 6 cents to $3.27 3/4 a bushel; March corn fell 1/2 cent to $2.66 3/4 a bushel; March oats fell 2 cents to $1.49 3/4 bushel; January soybeans rose 1/2 cent to $6.81 1/4 bushel.

Palladium was sharply higher and silver slid significantly lower on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Both palladium and platinum prices were supported by reports that the Russians had not made any sales in those commodities in some time, said James Steel, a metals analyst in New York with Refco Inc.

Silver’s decline was due to profit-taking after a hefty move upward over past few months, Steel said.

He said the stock market rally was hurting gold.

Palladium for March rose $6 to $203.75 a troy ounce, January silver fell 16 cents to $6.13 a troy ounce, January platinum rose $1.50 to $367 a troy ounce, January gold fell 90 cents to $291.60 a troy ounce,.

Most meat futures prices sagged on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The pork complex was depressed by Monday’s quarterly hogs report that showed ample inventories, while beef prices were held down by news of reduced packer demand, analysts said.

February live cattle fell 0.20 cent at 66.35 cents a pound; January feeder cattle fell 0.32 cent to 75.85 cents a pound; February lean hogs fell 0.40 cent to 57.85 cents a pound; February pork bellies fell 1.8 cent to 51.95 cents a pound.

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