NEW YORK (AP) -- Wheat prices are falling on expectations that wet weather in the Plains region will help farmers grow more of the grain this year.
The price of wheat for May delivery fell 22.25 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $6.8375 a bushel, dropping below $7 a bushel for the first time since June 22.
This year's weather patterns in the Plains region suggest that wheat farmers will experience a more normal growing season after last year's drought, says Richard Feltes, vice president of research at R.J. O'Brien.
"It looks as if March 2013 is very much unlike March of 2012, when we were in a mode of warm temperature and dry days," says Feltes. "It turns out that was a precursor of a drought."
Expectations that India will boost exports also weighed on wheat prices. "India is becoming a wheat powerhouse," said Sterling Smith, a commodities strategist at Citigroup.
May corn fell 20.50 cents to $6.8850 a bushel. Soybean prices for May delivery were unchanged at $14.660 a bushel.
Metal prices were mixed.
Silver for May delivery rose 19.90 cents to $28.8030 an ounce. Palladium for June delivery gained $5.45 to $740.05 an ounce.
Platinum for April delivery fell $5.90 to $1,579.80 an ounce. Copper for May delivery also fell, dropping 2.2 cents to $3.4930. Gold for April was unchanged at $1,574.90.
The price of oil fell 39 cents to $90.34 a barrel. Oil had dropped as low as $89.55 a barrel. It recovered some of the ground it lost after a Federal Reserve report showed that the U.S. economy strengthened across much of the country.
In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 2.35 cents $3.1247 a gallon. Heating oil rose less than a cent to $2.9756 a gallon. Natural gas fell 5.9 cents to $3.47 per 1,000 cubic feet.
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