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Cotton dips following decline in grains

June 5 (Reuters) - Cotton futures settled lower for a second straight session on Wednesday following a slump in the grains markets, falling short of the 70-cent level closely watched by analysts and last hurdled on May 10.

* Cotton contracts for July settled down 0.23 cent,

or 0.33 %, at 68.74 cents per lb.

* It traded within a range of 68.42 and 69.62 cents a lb.

* "Cotton seems to be getting some sympathy from the grains," said Jim Nunn, owner of Tennessee cotton brokerage Nunn Cotton.

* "We are locked in this range of 67.5 and 70 cents on the July contract, and the only thing that can help push it up is going to be some short-covering."

* U.S. grain futures fell across the board in early trading as fears eased about the potential for rain damage to the wheat crop and forecasts of warmer temperatures in the U.S. Midwest opened a narrow planting window for soybean farmers.

* Investors also awaited the weekly export sales report due Thursday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* Private analytics firm IEG Vantage projected U.S. 2019 all-cotton plantings at 13.865 million acres and all-cotton production at 22.611 million bales.

* Total futures market volume fell by 13,375 to 33,151 lots. Data showed total open interest fell 5,073 to 208,314 contracts in the previous session.

* Certificated cotton stocks <CERT-COT-STX> deliverable as of June 4 totaled 81,218 480-lb bales, down from 82,517 in the previous session.

(Reporting by Karthika Namboothiri in Bengaluru Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)