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Wheat prices drop on Russian crop outlook

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NEW YORK (AP) — Wheat prices fell Tuesday as the outlook for the crop in Russia improves amid cooler and wetter weather.

The price of wheat for July delivery fell 11.25 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $6.01 a bushel.

Wheat prices have slumped 17 percent in the last two months. The drop comes after a surge at the start of the year that was driven by concern that supplies would be crimped amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine, both big wheat exporters.

"Overall, reports around the world show that growing conditions are favorable in almost all the key crop areas," said Todd Hultman, a grains analyst at DTN. "Outside the U.S., the wheat crops look pretty favorable."

The U.S. government forecasts that global supplies of wheat will remain close to last year's levels as increased supply from overseas offsets a decline in U.S. supplies.

Corn for July fell 5.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $4.46 a bushel. Soybeans for the same month rose 5.5 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $14.63 a bushel.

In metals trading, gold and silver edged higher. Platinum, copper and palladium rose as well.

Gold for August delivery gained $6.20, or 0.5 percent, to $1,260 an ounce. Silver for July rose 10.2 cents, or 0.5 percent, $19.17 an ounce.

Copper for July rose 1 cent, or 0.3 percent, to $3.05 a pound. Platinum for July gained $27.90, or 1.9 percent, to $1,482.20. Palladium for September climbed $12.95, or 1.5 percent, to $854.55.

The price of oil was little changed from Monday at $104.35 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1.1 cents to close at $2.97 a gallon. Natural gas fell 11.5 cents to close at $4.53 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 0.7 cents to close at $2.88 a gallon.

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