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COMMODITIES : Wheat Advances on Possible New Sale to Soviets

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From Associated Press

Spurred by export rumors, futures prices for wheat rose, but most corn and soybean prices dipped Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade.

In other markets, meat and livestock futures mostly were higher, precious metals rose, and energy futures were sharply higher.

Talk of impending developments from the Agriculture Department drove wheat prices higher, said Jerry Gidel, an analyst in Chicago with G. H. Miller.

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After the closing bell, the USDA announced that it has targeted the Soviet Union for subsidized sales of 2 million more tons of wheat under the export bonus program. The agency also said it had increased to 20 million tons from 16 million tons the amount of U.S. corn and wheat the Soviets may purchase this year without new consultations.

Lag in Europe

Soybean prices pulled back, falling 18.5 cents on the spot March contract, because European markets didn’t follow through on Tuesday’s rally in Chicago and it appeared the recent spurt of commercial buying on meal sales was over, said Dale Gustafson, a grains analyst in Chicago with Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.

Wheat settled 0.75 cent to 2 cents higher, with the contract for delivery in March at $4.3975 a bushel; corn was 1 cent to 2.25 cents lower, with March at $2.7025 a bushel; oats were all 10 cents lower, with March at $2.2525 a bushel; and soybeans were 3 to 18.25 cents lower, with March at $7.4925 a bushel.

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