NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wheat, corn and soybean prices were plunging on concerns that demand for these commodities could slow following weather-driven, record-high spikes and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
Wheat for May delivery fell 53 ½ cents, or 6.3%, to $8.02 ¼ a bushel early afternoon Tuesday, while corn for May delivery lost 30 cents, or 4.2%, to $6.90 ¼ a bushel. Soybeans for March delivery, the most actively-traded contract, fell 60 ½ cents, or 4.4%, to $13.07 1/3 a bushel.
Corn prices were pulling back after hitting their highest levels on Tuesday since July 2008, and soybeans reached their highest levels since the same period on Feb. 9, according to
data. Meanwhile, wheat prices reached their highest levels since August 2008 about one week after the soybean prices reached theirs.
In a Tuesday note, Janney Capital Markets analyst Jonathan Feeney noted that U.S. grain prices were declining despite the weaker U.S. dollar.
"China's most recent step to rein in inflation raised concerns that demand for U.S. goods could slow," said Feeney, adding that roughly 60% of U.S. soybean exports go to China.
Weaker Chinese demand could "most negatively impact soybean," he said.
Investment research firm Waverly Advisors has exited its long position in wheat.
"For now, we move to the sidelines," a Waverly Advisors report said.
Still, the firm continues to closely follow the grains complex for an opportunity to re-establish a long position.
PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund
fell 2% to $34.21, while the
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Grains Subindex Total Return
tumbled 5.2% to $52.58.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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