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Morning markets: crops lose their fizz

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Farm commodities lost their fizz on Thursday as traders booked profits in the face of falling oil and equity prices.

New York crude had slipped $0.62 to $62.83 a barrel for July by 06:15 GMT, with Brent down $0.25 at $61.88 a barrel, as investors trimmed hopes for the US recovery following Wednesday's equity rout, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2.1%.

That threw commodity investors off their stride, and sent Chicago grains a little easier in electronic trading, with Kuala Lumpur palm oil losing ground too.

List of losers

Soybeans, which briefly crossed $12 a bushel on Wednesday, eased 2.25 cents to $11.83 ¾ a bushel for the July contract, matching losses in new crop contracts.

Wheat shed 5.0 cents to $6.20 ¾ a bushel, with new crop contracts faring marginally worse. July 2010 wheat, for instance dropped 7.25 cents to $7 a bushel on the nose.

Corn lost ground for a third successive day on expectations that US spring plantings may finish this week. Farmers had 82% of the crop in the ground by last Sunday after planting an area the size of Ireland in one week.

July corn eased 2.0 cents to $4.24 a bushel, with similar falls seen across the board of further-ahead contracts.

Palm oil, meanwhile, eased 10 ringgit to 2,495 ringgit a tonne for Bursa Malaysia's benchmark August contract despite a forecast from James Fry, an influential industry analyst, that prices may be poised to top 3,000 ringgit a tonne – as long as crude keeps making ground.

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