Farming fundamentals

A fter a five-year bull run, agricultural markets took a nose-dive last year nearly as spectacular as that of the much-talked about drop in oil prices. In the grains markets - among the most liquidly traded agricultural markets - wheat lost 28.15% between July 2008 and the end of the year, corn lost 43.40%, and soybeans 40.29%. The Standard and Poor's (S&P) GSCI Agriculture Index dropped by 28.88% in 2008.

Many of the losses seen in the grains markets were due to the mass exodus of speculators

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