U.S. grains futures fell on Wednesday after a preliminary survey showed China's manufacturing dropped to its lowest in almost three years, stirring concern that Europe's sovereign debt crisis is crimping global economic growth.        
   
The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), the earliest indicator of China's industrial activity, slumped in November to 48, the lowest since March 2009. A
reading below 50 indicates contraction.      
   
The release came on the heels of the World Bank's warning on Tuesday that China faces growing risks from the euro zone crisis and forecast that its economic growth will moderate from next year.   
   
"Going forward, global headwinds to growth remain," said Prakriti Sofat, a regional economist at Barclays Capital in Singapore.    
   
Most-active January soybeans on the Chicago Board of Trade lost 0.9 percent to $11.43-1/4 per bushel. Prices have dropped 5.3 percent in November.
   
China accounted for about half of U.S. soybean and product exports totalling more than $23 billion in 2010, according to data from the U.S. Soybean Export Council.
        
Corn for December delivery lost 0.8 percent to $5.94-1/4 per bushel, set for a third weekly decline.
   
The start of the U.S. corn harvest in September helped drive spot prices lower, before the trend reversed in October, according to a J.P. Morgan Chase & Co report.
   
"However, since the end of October, spot prices have fallen," J.P. Morgan said. "Momentum is negative."  
   
December wheat fell 1 percent to $5.88 per bushel, heading for a fourth straight week of declines because of euro zone concerns and cheaper competing supplies from the Black Sea
region.
   
Slower manufacturing and consumption have also affected the world's largest economy. The U.S. government said on Tuesday that its economy expanded at a 2 percent annual rate in the third quarter, below the initial estimate of 2.5 percent.
        
German oilseeds analyst Oil World said on Tuesday it had raised its forecast for Brazil's 2012 soybean crop by 1 million tons after favorable weather, but cut its forecast of Argentina's crop by 1 million tons.        
   
Japan's Ministry of Agriculture said it would not hold its regular tender for food wheat from the United States, Canada and Australia this week.   
           
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
 
Source: Reuters