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GRAINS-Soy higher after three-day skid; corn, wheat bounce from contract lows

(Updates with closing U.S. prices) By Julie Ingwersen CHICAGO, April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. soybean futures closed higher on Thursday, snapping a three-session slide, while corn and wheat rebounded from contract lows as fund-driven selling paused and forecasts signaled more U.S. planting delays, traders said. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July soybeans settled up 4 cents at $8.72-3/4 per bushel. CBOT July corn ended up 1-1/4 cents at $3.57-1/4 a bushel after falling to a contract low at $3.51-1/2, and July wheat finished up 3 cents at $4.41-1/2 a bushel after recording a contract low at $4.34-1/2. CBOT soymeal futures posted the biggest percentage gains in the soy complex, lifting soybeans. Front-month CBOT soymeal settled up $5.60 at $306 per short ton, rallying after dipping below $300 for the first time since March. "It's just a technical rebound," said Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst with Futures International in Chicago. "Plus, there is this ongoing talk that the near-term weather forecast is not good for producers to plant. When you see delays in corn, you start shaving off some yields from your outlook for certain areas," Reilly said. Forecasts called for above-normal precipitation across much of the United States over the next 15 days, Maxar, a space technology company, said in a midday weather note. Slowed by excessive moisture over the winter and early spring, farmers had planted 6% of the U.S. corn crop as of April 21, behind the five-year average of 12%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week. Soybean seeding was just 1% complete. Despite the slow start to planting, CBOT corn and soy futures have been under pressure all week as commodity funds add to sizable net short positions against a backdrop of ample domestic and world grain supplies. The International Grains Council on Thursday raised its 2019-20 global wheat production forecast to 762 million tonnes, up 3 million from last month, and raised its world corn crop forecast to 1.125 billion tonnes, up 1 million. A stronger dollar, which makes U.S. grains less competitive globally, added to bearish sentiment. But fund selling appeared to slow on Thursday as the dollar index steadied near a two-year high and crop weather took the spotlight. CBOT settlement prices: Net Pct Volume Last change change CBOT wheat WN9 441.50 3.00 0.7 61784 CBOT corn CN9 357.25 1.25 0.4 309831 CBOT soybeans SN9 872.75 4.00 0.5 171862 CBOT soymeal SMN9 309.60 5.60 1.8 91654 CBOT soyoil BON9 27.94 -0.28 -1.0 67650 NOTE: CBOT July wheat, corn and soybeans shown in cents per bushel, July soymeal in dollars per short ton and July soyoil in cents per lb. (Additional reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Naveen Thukral in Singapore; editing by Jan Harvey, James Dalgleish and Richard Chang)

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