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Chicago agricultural commodities settle lower

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures closed lower Tuesday with soybean futures dropping more than 1 percent to their lowest in more than a week on rising expectations for a Brazil harvest already forecast to be a record.

Outlooks for a bountiful South American harvest also weighed on corn futures, while wheat eased on profit-taking after rallying on Monday.

The most active corn contract for May delivery fell 2.5 cent, or 0.66 percent, to 3.76 dollars per bushel. May wheat delivery fell 2 cents, or 0.44 percent, to 4.565 dollars per bushel. May soybeans dropped 12 cents, or 1.16 percent, to 10.2525 dollars per bushel.

In the outside markets, the Brent crude oil market is 0.01 dollar per barrel higher, the U.S. dollar is higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials are 22 points lower.

Jack Scoville, The PRICE Futures Group senior market analyst, says that it' s been mostly a quiet news day and a lighter volume trading day.

"Increasing South American crop sizes are the main reason to see the lower prices today. Soybeans, corn, and wheat are all holding support so far today, so prices could rebound later," Scoville says.

The U.S. Agriculture Department will issue its latest outlook for South American crops in its monthly supply and demand report on Thursday. Analysts on average were expecting the report to peg Brazil soy production at 105.95 million tonnes and corn production at 87.78 million tonnes.

Soybean prices had been supported by news that heavy rain in Brazil had hampered road transport, but dry weather improved conditions on a key Amazon road between soy fields and northern ports.

Wheat futures closed well above session lows as investors used the dip as an opportunity to cover short positions.

Brisk export demand, including a run of purchases by Egypt, has also underpinned recent gains in wheat markets. However, traders said on Tuesday that Egypt had rejected three wheat cargoes. (PNA/Xinhua) FPV/SSC