- U.S. grain futures were mixed on Thursday, as market players looked ahead to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export report later in the session to gauge the strength of global demand for U.S. supplies.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, soybeans futures for May delivery rose to a session high of $14.0588 a bushel, the most since September 3.

The May soybean contract last traded at $14.0475 a bushel during U.S. morning hours, up 0.6%.

Soybean prices rose 0.7% on Wednesday to settle at $13.9700 a bushel after the USDA announced a sale of 568,000 tonnes of soybeans for delivery in the 2013-14 marketing season to unknown buyers.

Market participants commonly interpret listings of sales to "unknown destinations" as a sign of Chinese buying.

Prices of the oilseed have been well-supported in recent sessions as hot and dry conditions in key soy-growing regions in Brazil and Argentina fuelled concerns over crop prospects.

The South American counties are major soybean exporters and compete with the U.S. for business on the global market. Crop losses in Brazil and Argentina could mean increased demand for U.S. supplies.

Meanwhile, corn futures for May delivery shed 0.3% to trade at $4.5938 a bushel.

The May corn contract rose to $4.6500 a bushel on Wednesday, the strongest level since September 17, before turning modestly lower to settle at $4.6100 a bushel, down 0.05%.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, wheat for May delivery declined 0.25% to trade at $6.0363 a bushel. The May wheat contract tumbled 2.02% on Wednesday to settle at $6.0540 a bushel.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, government figures show. Wheat was fourth, behind hay.

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