NEW YORK — Commodities prices mostly fell on Friday, led by another plunge in grains following news earlier this week that last year's crop was much larger than expected.

Corn was the worst-hit of the grain contracts this week, tumbling 12.2 percent after the Department of Agriculture reported Tuesday that 2009's crop reached a new record.

"That absolutely shocked the marketplace," said Jason Ward, a market analyst with Northstar Commodity in Minneapolis. Ward said investors had been betting the report would show a decline. "We couldn't have been more wrong."

Corn for March delivery fell 9 cents to settle at $3.715 a bushel. Soybeans also fell 6 cents to end at $9.74 a bushel, while wheat dropped 17.75 cents to $5.10 a bushel.

Other grain contracts also suffered major losses this week. Wheat for March delivery lost 10.3 percent, while soybeans fell 4.7 percent.

Despite the week's declines, grains contracts are still hovering near lows seen only last month. Because of improving prices in livestock markets, there are more users of the grain crops who can afford to buy at current prices. That could keep prices from falling further.

In other trading, pork bellies for February delivery rose 0.05 cents to settle at 89.6 cents per pound.

Energy prices mostly fell. Warming temperatures across much of the country could temper demand for heating oil in the coming days.

Benchmark crude for February delivery slid $1.39 to $78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, falling for the fifth straight day.

In other Nymex trading in February contracts, heating oil fell 3.69 cents to $2.046 a gallon and gasoline slid 2.84 cents to $2.0454 a gallon.

A strengthening dollar has also pressured energy and commodities prices. As the dollar strengthens, it makes commodities more expensive for foreign investors. The ICE Futures US dollar index, which measures the dollar against a six currencies, rose 0.7 percent.

Gold, which often trades opposite the dollar, fell $12.50 to settle at $1,130.50 an ounce. Among other metals, March silver slipped 22.8 cents to $18.427 an ounce. April platinum contracts dropped $8.70 to $1,596.10 an ounce, while March palladium contracts rose $4.70 to $447.75 an ounce. (AP)