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Soybeans gain on forecast for dry spell in Brazil

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STEVE ROTHWELL | November 26, 2012 04:53 PM EST | AP

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NEW YORK — Soybeans edged higher on concern that dry weather conditions in Brazil will harm this year's crop.

Soybeans for January delivery gained 6 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $14.2475 a bushel on Monday. The futures contract climbed as high as $14.35 during the day. Soybean prices are recovering, after slipping from their highest level in more than a decade in the summer.

A dearth of rain is forecast for the next ten days. That may have an impact on the current planting season in southern Brazil, where much of the country's crop is grown.

"We are turning drier at a critical early phase of the growing season" in Brazil, said Mike Zuzulo, president of Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting.

In other agricultural trading, corn also rose. The December contract gained 1.75 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $7.4725 a bushel. The gains for corn were driven by concern that too much rain in Argentina would harm the season's crop.

"Argentina is turning wet again," Zuzolo said. "That is going to delay some planting and cause some problems."

December wheat gained 1.25 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $8.49 a bushel.

The price of oil fell below $88 a barrel as a truce between Israel and the militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip appeared to hold despite a confrontation last week. Benchmark oil fell 54 cents to $87.74 a barrel.

Metals were little changed.

December gold edged lower, falling $1.80, or 0.1 percent, to $1,749.60 an ounce. Silver for December delivery rose 2.1 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $34.137 an ounce. Both metals gained strongly on Friday and are trading at or near their highest levels in more than a month.

Platinum for January delivery fell $6.10, or 0.4 percent, to $1,611 an ounce and December palladium fell $6.40, or 1 percent, to $661.20 an ounce. Copper rose 0.85 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $3.5365 a pound.