Corn futures closed lower on Thursday. Profit-taking weighed on the market, led by losses in new-crop contracts. Old-crop losses were limited by recent strength in the cash market. Increased export demand has been supportive for old-crop. Weekly export sales reported this morning were above expectations at 33.2 million bushels of old-crop and 12.1 million bushels of new-crop commitments. July ended 1 1/2 cents lower at $7.48 1/4 and December was 10 3/4 cents lower at $6.62.
Soybean futures settled steady to lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by profit-taking following the strong gains on Wednesday. Losses in crude oil also contributing to the weakness in soybeans. Export demand has slowed in recent weeks, but losses were limited today by the Weekly Export sales report this morning that showed China bought 110,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans for 2011/12 delivery. July closed unchanged at $13.79 1/2 and November was 3 3/4 cents lower at $13.49 1/2.
Wheat futures were mixed on Thursday. Profit-taking and spillover weakness from corn weighed on the CBOT contracts following the rally to a three-month high early in the session. However, the KCBT and MGE were higher amid concerns about hard red winter and spring wheat production prospects. Winter wheat condition ratings continue to decline in the southern and western Plains and the spring wheat planting pace in the northern Plains remains slow. CBOT July closed 5 cents lower at $8.12, KCBT July ended 6 3/4 cents higher at $9.44 3/4 and MGE July was 10 cents higher at $10.06 1/4.
Cattle futures closed lower on Thursday. Technical selling helped extend recent losses again today. Weakness in the cash market this week and declining beef prices are weighing on the market. Choice cutouts were down 96 cents on Wednesday and another $1.82 at midday. Cash trade so far this week is down about $8 on a dressed basis in the North and down $4 on a live basis in the southern Plains. June closed $1.40 lower at $104.85 and August was $1.25 lower at $107.93.
Lean hog futures traded mostly higher on Thursday. The June contract was pressured by concern about pork demand and technical selling. But losses were limited in the nearby and deferreds turned higher on short-covering from recent losses. Demand is expected to be sluggish once wholesale demand for Memorial weekend is complete, but tightening supplies of market ready hogs are expected to be supportive for the cash market. June ended 33 cents lower at $91.33 while July was 8 cents higher at $91.63.