Prices for soybeans and other key crops fell Wednesday following predictions of more rain in South America.
More rain is predicted in the next week to ten days for parts of South America after a hot, dry start to the year, said Brandon Marshall, a commodity adviser with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis. Brazil and Argentina are major soybean producers. When the weather is favorable to crops, crop prices go down because analysts expect supplies to go up.
Soybeans for March delivery fell 1 percent, losing 14.75 cents to $14.37 per bushel.
Wheat and corn followed soybeans lower, but Marshall said he expects prices for both to rise in the near term. Corn supplies could be crimped as bigger-than-expected amounts of corn get consumed, much of it in the form of farmers feeding livestock.
Wheat fell 4.5 cents to $7.7475 per bushel. Corn lost 7.75 cents, about 1 percent, to $7.2075 per bushel.
Energy prices were mixed. The International Monetary Fund is predicting only modest global economic growth. There were also reports that a key pipeline that takes crude oil from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast was operating at just half capacity, endangering supply.
Benchmark oil, used to price domestic varieties of oil, dropped $1.45 to $95.23 per barrel in New York. It was a decline of 1.5 percent, and the first drop of more than 1 percent since Dec. 21.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose 38 cents to $112.80 per barrel in London.
Natural gas was flat at $3.55 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline was also unchanged at $2.83 per gallon. Heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.08 a gallon.
Metals also fell, with the exception of silver. March silver rose 26.2 cents to $32.439 per ounce.
February gold slipped $6.50 to $1,686.70 per ounce. March copper fell 2.05 cents to $3.6845 per pound. March palladium fell $3.70 to $726.20 per ounce. April platinum lost $6.70 to $1,691.80 per ounce.