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GRAINS-Corn prices edge down, but losses curbed as USDA confirms planting delays

* USDA says corn planting lagging market forecasts * Soybeans extend two-day losses to nearly 1.5 percent * Wheat falls despite threat to U.S. crops from adverse weather By Colin Packham SYDNEY, May 1 (Reuters) - U.S. corn futures edged down on Tuesday to retreat from a nine-month high touched in the previous session, but losses were curbed as the U.S. Department of Agriculture said planting was lagging behind market forecasts. Soybean prices fell, extending two-day losses to nearly 1.5 percent, while wheat also slid. The most active corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade were down 0.3 percent at $3.99-3/4 by 0321 GMT. They gained 0.5 percent in the previous session, when prices hit their highest since July 21 at $4.04 a bushel. "The USDA planting numbers add to concerns that farmers are struggling to sow their crops, if it continues then yield losses are possible," said a Melbourne-based grain trader, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said 17 percent of the U.S. corn crop had been planted as of Sunday, behind the five-year average of 27 percent and lagging market forecasts. Forecasts of rain across the U.S. Midwest have inhibited farmer efforts to increase planting. The most active soybean futures were down 0.7 percent at $10.41-1/2 a bushel, having closed down 0.7 percent on Monday. The most active wheat futures were down 0.5 percent at $5.07-3/4 a bushel, having closed up 2.4 percent on Monday. U.S. winter wheat crop ratings improved slightly to 33 percent good-to-excellent, up 2 points from the previous week. The USDA said spring wheat was just 10 percent planted, well behind the five-year average of 36 percent. Grains prices at 0321 GMT Contract Last Change Pct chg Two-day chg MA 30 RSI CBOT wheat 507.75 -2.75 -0.54% +1.86% 482.40 74 CBOT corn 399.75 -1.00 -0.25% +0.31% 392.47 69 CBOT soy 1041.50 -7.00 -0.67% -1.40% 1046.29 50 CBOT rice 13.05 -$0.02 -0.15% +0.35% $12.95 42 WTI crude 68.73 $0.16 +0.23% +0.93% $66.01 64 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.207 $0.000 -0.02% -0.45% USD/AUD 0.7538 0.001 +0.09% -0.57% Most active contracts Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel. Rice: USD per hundredweight RSI 14, exponential (Reporting by Colin Packham Editing by Joseph Radford)

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