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Corn prices plunge on worries about export demand

The Associated Press

Corn futures ended sharply lower Friday as traders worry that export demand may be slipping.

Corn for July delivery settled at $5.795 a bushel, a decrease of 22 cents, or 3.7 percent. Wheat and soybeans contracts also fell.

John Sanow, market analyst at Telvent DTN, a commodity information firm in Omaha, says traders were concerned about a report Thursday showing a sharp decline in export sales the previous week. It was the worst showing this year.

July wheat lost 14 cents to $6.095 per bushel, a loss of 2.2 percent. July soybeans were off 10 cents to settle at $13.76 per bushel.

Metals prices were mixed.

Gold for August delivery rose $8.50 to $1,628.10 an ounce, July silver rose 33.3 cents to $28.74 per ounce, and July platinum fell 40 cents to $1,487.20 an ounce.

Crude oil increased 12 cents to settle at $84.03 a barrel. Brent crude, which is used to make gasoline in much of the U.S., rose 44 cents to finish at $97.61.

Heating oil rose 1.87 cents to end at $2.6465 per gallon, gasoline futures gained 2.53 cents to $2.7017 per gallon and natural gas fell 2.8 cents to end at $2.467 per 1,000 cubic feet.