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Chicago agricultural commodities settle mixed

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) grains futures closed mixed on Thursday with soybean futures hitting one and half-week low, pressured by follow-through weakness after Wednesday's poor technical close and some farmer selling.

Corn futures sagged as forecasts called for improving weather in the U.S. Midwest, where wet conditions have stalled planting in some areas. Wheat futures were modestly higher.

The most active corn contract for July delivery dropped 4.5 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at 3.6925 dollars per bushel. July wheat delivery rose 2 cents, or 0.46 percent, to close at 4.3375 dollars per bushel. July soybeans fell 4 cent, or 0.41 percent, to 9.6625 dollars per bushel.

Corn prices rose on Wednesday after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. inventories at the end of the marketing year on May 31 would total 2.29 billion bushels, missing estimates for 2.33 billion bushels. Wheat stockpiles were pegged at 1.15 billion bushels, missing forecasts for a total of 1.16 billion bushels.

After corn prices rose nearly 2 percent on Wednesday, investors who'd made money on the market are likely selling to take profits, analysts said.

Weather forecasts are also calling for rain to stop for a few days, giving growers a chance to accelerate planting next week. As much as six times the normal amount of rain has fallen in the past two weeks in much of Illinois and Indiana, keeping producers out of fields. Drier weather should allow the pace of planting to improve, analysts said. (Xinhua)