Soybean prices fall as supplies hit marketplace

The price of soybeans has hit the lowest level in nearly three months as a fast-paced harvest delivers more supplies to the marketplace.

November soybeans fell 29.75 cents to finish Tuesday at $15.305 per bushel. That's the lowest price since July 12.

The price for the protein-rich bean hit an all-time high of $17.7025 per bushel in late August on concerns that the drought had damaged the crop. But early harvest reports show yields have been better than expected and overall demand remains strong.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said 41 percent of the crop had been harvested by Sunday, compared with an average of 19 percent over the previous four years.

Sterling Smith, a Citi futures specialist, said exports sales have been slower this week because markets in China are closed for public holidays.

The corn harvest also is continuing at a rapid pace, with 54 percent of the crop harvested as of Sunday, the agency said. That compared with an average of 20 percent over the previous four years.

Corn for December delivery rose 1.5 cents to end at $7.5825 per bushel and December wheat dropped 12.75 cents to $8.715 per bushel.

Other commodities were mixed as concerns about Europe's debt crisis outweighed positive economic news in the U.S.

Spain's prime minister said Tuesday that a request for bailout funding isn't imminent. The country is under pressure to seek financial assistance to help lower its borrowing costs, but its leaders are concerned about the impact of cost-cutting measures.

The economic slowdowns in Europe and China can cut into demand for many commodities, including oil, copper and soybeans.

In the U.S., CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, says a measure of home prices jumped 4.6 percent in August compared with a year ago. That's the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years. The new data provides more evidence that the housing market continues to improve.

In December contracts, gold fell $7.70 to finish at $1,775.60 per ounce, silver dropped 28.3 cents to $34.669 per ounce, copper rose 1.55 cents to $3.801 per pound and palladium gained $8.60 to $654.20 per ounce. January platinum increased $1.40 to $1,687.20 per ounce.

Energy products were mostly higher. Benchmark crude fell 59 cents to finish at $91.89 per barrel, heating oil dropped 1.03 cents to $3.1255 per gallon and wholesale gasoline ended down 5.09 cents at $2.8692 per gallon.

Natural gas set a 2012 high for a second consecutive day, gaining 5.1 cents to end at $3.531 per 1,000 cubic feet.