Financial Post | Business

The investment binge in U.S. agriculture funds has ended as record crops and the promise of improving meat supplies send prices plunging.

After taking in more money than precious metals or energy funds during the first five months of 2014, exchange-traded products backed by agriculture had a net outflow for the year of $57.7 million as of Aug. 29, down 2.9 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Energy, precious-metal, industrial-metal and broad-based funds saw net inflows over the period, boosting total raw-material investment by $341 million, or 0.5 percent.

While coffee, cattle and hogs posted gains that beat most commodities this year, prices for cotton, soybeans, corn and wheat fell into bear markets. Speculator bets on an agriculture rally are down 78 percent since early April as farmers in the U.S., the world’s largest grain grower, prepare to collect what the government predicts will be record harvests. Global food costs…

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