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Corn slumps as rain forecast boosts crop outlook

August 1, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of corn fell to the lowest in almost three years the forecast for rain in the U.S. Plains region boosted the outlook for this year’s crop.

The cooler, wetter weather will be particularly helpful for this year’s crop because corn is currently in its crucial pollination season. The weather in the corn-growing states of the U.S. this summer is in stark contrast to the drought that the region experienced last year.

“It’s expected to be cooler than normal. That’s going to be helpful (for the crop), especially for areas that are a little short on moisture,” said Art Liming, a futures specialist at Citigroup.

Corn for December delivery fell 12 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $4.67 a bushel, its lowest price since Oct. 1, 2010. The price of corn has fallen 44 percent since surging as high as $8.39 a bushel last August.

The price of corn has moved lower since March 28 after the government reported that farmers intended to plant the most corn since 1936 this year. Prices have steadily dropped as the favorable weather has increased the likelihood of a big crop.

Other agricultural products also fell on Thursday.

November soybeans dropped 13.75 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $11.925 a bushel. September wheat fell 6.25 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $6.58 a bushel.

In metals trading, gold edged lower and silver was unchanged.

Gold for December delivery dropped $1.80, or 0.1 percent, to $1,311.20 an ounce. Silver for September delivery was unchanged at $19.624 an ounce.

Copper for September delivery rose 4.75 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $3.166 a pound. Platinum for October delivery gained $14.50 an ounce, or 1 percent, to $1,443.80 an ounce. Palladium for September rose $5.50, or 0.8 percent, to $731.85 an ounce.

In energy trading, oil climbed back to its highest in more than two years.

Oil gained $2.86, or 2.7 percent, to close at $107.89 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Positive signs on the global economy were the catalyst for the gain. Data from China, Europe and the U.S. showed improvement in manufacturing. In the U.S., a drop in unemployment claims suggested a strengthening job market.

Other energy contracts were mostly higher.

Heating oil was up 4 cents to end at $3.10 a gallon. Natural gas fell 6 cents to finish at $3.39 per 1,000 cubic feet and wholesale gasoline rose 3 cents to end at $3.03 a gallon.

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