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Wheat, Soybeans Fall to Six-Week Lows on European Debt Concern

18.05.2010 09:11 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Wheat and soybeans slumped to the lowest levels in almost six weeks in Chicago as investors quit riskier assets on concern that Europes debt crisis may slow economic recovery. Wheat for July delivery dropped as low as $4.6725 a bushel, the lowest intraday price for the most-active contract on the Chicago Board of Trade since April 6. The grain was at $4.695 at 11:53 a.m. Paris time. July-delivery soybeans slid 1.1 percent to $9.4275 a bushel after falling as low as $9.4075, the lowest level since April 7. The MSCI World Index of shares declined as much as 1 percent, and raw materials from crude oil to zinc retreated. The Greek debt crisis thats threatening to break up the euro zone may spill over to Eastern Europe and spoil the regions fragile recovery, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on May 15. «Were seeing risk aversion in the market,» Michael Pitts, director for commodity sales at National Australia Bank Ltd., said by phone from Sydney. «Thats pushing commodities down in the short term.» Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their bets on lower wheat prices for the first time in six weeks, based on U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Speculative net-short positions, the difference between orders to buy and sell the commodity, rose 9.3 percent to 36,893 contracts in Chicago in the week ended May 11, the commission said in a report on May 14.Twenty-two of 33 traders and analysts surveyed from Chicago to Tokyo on May 14 said soybeans would fall this week, and 19 of 32 said corn would drop on concern the European debt crisis may slow global economic growth, hurting demand for food, animal feed and fuel made from crops. Milling wheat for November delivery traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris rose 0.9 percent to 141.50 euros ($174.15) a metric ton. Corn for July delivery dropped 1.1 percent to $3.59 a bushel in Chicago. Argentina, the worlds largest corn exporter after the U.S., boosted its export quota for the grain by 30 percent to 13 million tons in the 2009–10 season, the nations agricultural export control agency said on May 14. The South American nation was forecast to ship 12 million tons that season, or 14 percent of global exports, according to a May 11 estimate by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

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