CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. grain and soybean futures slumped Thursday as renewed concerns about the global economy prompted traders to reduce risk across equity and commodity markets.
Corn for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, dropped 12 1/2 cents, or 1.7%, to $7.13 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Soft red winter wheat for December delivery fell 18 3/4 cents, or 2.5%, to $7.39 1/4 a bushel. Soybeans for November delivery slipped 5 3/4 cents, or 0.4%, to $13.61 a bushel.
Traders shed risk as stocks tumbled amid growing fears of a global recession. Pressure from losses in equities and crude oil futures put the grain markets "in a real hole right off the bat," said Jerry Gidel, analyst for North America Risk Management Services, a brokerage in Chicago.
Selling drove the nearby wheat contract down for the first time in eight sessions as the market pulled back from two-month highs. Corn extended a setback after the December contract set a new contract high Wednesday.
Yet, soybeans resisted a steep slide due to lingering concerns about the potential for dry weather to reduce U.S. output, traders said. August is the most critical month for the development of the soy crop.
"I'm very impressed with the soybeans hanging right in there," Gidel said.
In other markets, December soyoil slid 0.7% to 55.83 cents per pound, and December soymeal dropped 0.5% to $359.40 per short ton. December ethanol lost 0.8% to $2.618 per gallon, while September oats slumped 1.6% to $3.42 1/2 a bushel. September rice lost 1.7% to $16.88 1/2 per hundredweight.
At the Kansas City Board of Trade, hard red winter wheat for December delivery sank 3.2% to $8.19 1/2 a bushel. Hard red spring wheat for December delivery slipped 1.3% to $8.92 3/4 a bushel at MGEX in Minneapolis.