- U.S. grain futures traded near multi-year lows on Thursday, as investors were hesitant to enter the market amid expectations that bumper autumn harvests will expand crop inventories.

On the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, U.S. corn for September delivery eased up 0.06%, or 0.23 cents, to trade at $3.7763 a bushel during U.S. morning hours.

The September corn contract fell to $3.7100 a bushel on Tuesday amid ongoing expectations for a record U.S. corn harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said earlier in the month that U.S. corn inventories at the end of August will total 1.246 billion bushels, up 8% from its forecast in June.

According to the agency, nearly 76% of the U.S. corn crop was rated “good” to “excellent” as of last week, the highest rating for this time of year since 1994.

Meanwhile, U.S. soybeans for August delivery picked up 0.21%, or 2.52 cents, to trade at $11.8913 a bushel.

The August soybean contract slumped to $11.5320 on Tuesday as indications of ample global supplies drove prices lower.

The USDA raised its forecast for the U.S. soybean harvest by 4.5% to a record 3.8 billion bushels last week. The agency also increased its forecast for soybean inventories by 12% to 140 million bushels.

According to the agency, approximately 72% of the U.S. soy crop was rated “good” to “excellent” as of last week, the best condition for mid-July in 20 years.

Elsewhere on the CBOT, U.S. wheat for September delivery tacked on 0.12%, or 0.65 cents, to trade at $5.3825 a bushel.

Prices of the grain fell to a four-year low of $5.2420 on July 14 after the USDA last week raised its outlook for global inventories at the end of the 2014-15 season to 189.54 million metric tons from the 188.61 million tons forecast last month.

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

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