Corn futures turned higher on Thursday. After losses overnight and this morning, futures rebounded on an uptick in crude oil futures and talk that China may be looking to import some U.S. corn. Although USDA’s Supply/Demand revisions on Wednesday morning were seen as bearish, ending stocks are still projected to be a 15-year low this year and are forecast to remain tight next year. July closed 3 1/4 cents higher at $6.80 1/2 and December was 4 1/2 cents higher at $6.30 1/2.
Soybean futures traded higher on Thursday. The rebound in crude oil prices and corn futures helped tune soybeans higher in to the close. USDA Supply/Demand report on Wednesday showed very tight ending stocks projections for 2010/11 and 2011/12. The market was pressured early in the session on sluggish export demand. Also bearish was news that China is raising reserve requirements for banks in an effort to slow inflation. July ended 11 cents higher at $13.42 3/4 and November was 5 1/4 cents higher at $13.26 1/4.
Wheat futures closed sharply lower again on Thursday. Follow-through selling from the losses on Wednesday pressured prices today. There was little new fundamental news to pressure prices. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 11.8 million bushels of old-crop and 8.4 million of new-crop fell within trade expectations. CBOT July ended 23 1/2 cents lower at $7.35 1/2, KCBT July was 23 3/4 cents lower at $8.76 1/4 and MGE July closed 20 3/4 cents lower at $9.04 3/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. The market was pressured at times by weaker boxed beef prices and lower cash trade this week. Choice beef prices were down $2.14 on Wednesday and were another $1.25 lower at midday Thursday. However, futures turned higher on strong export demand and ideas that warmer weather will improve domestic demand. Beef exports for the year are up 32.4% compared to 2010. June ended 80 cents higher at $109.85 and August was 78 cents higher at $111.43.
Lean hog futures settled higher on Thursday. Firm pork prices on Wednesday and ideas of higher cash trade through the end of the week are supporting the futures market. There is optimism that wholesale demand for Memorial Day promotions will support pork prices. Cash prices are being supported by tightening supplies of market ready hogs and many farmers tending to fieldwork rather than marketing hogs. June ended 98 cents higher at $94.20 and August was 58 cents higher at $94.68.