Soybean prices rose Thursday after traders were encouraged by a pickup in Chinese imports of the beans.
The actively traded July contract for soybeans rose 23 cents to $14.70 a bushel. The increase was only the second gain in the last seven trading days.
Soybean prices had been falling because traders were worried about China canceling orders. An improvement in April import numbers assuaged those concerns, said Sterling Smith, a commodities specialist with Citigroup in Chicago.
Other agricultural commodities ended mixed. July corn edged up three cents to $5.17 a bushel and July wheat edged down three cents to $7.35 a bushel.
Energy prices fell. U.S. crude oil for June delivery slipped 51 cents to close at $100.26 a barrel in New York.
Wholesale gasoline fell 1.3 cents to close at $2.905 a gallon, heating oil fell 0.7 cents to close at $2.92 a gallon and natural gas fell 16.8 cents to close at $4.572 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Metals futures were mixed.
Gold for June delivery fell $1.20 to $1,287.70 an ounce and July silver fell 20 cents to $19.14 an ounce.
July copper rose three cents to $3.06 a pound. Platinum for July delivery rose $3.30 to $1,438.10 an ounce and June palladium rose $7.35 to $804.05 an ounce.