Corn futures settled 8 to 22 cents lower on Thursday. Corn futures tumbled on a disappointing export sales report. The July contract traded as long as 22 cents at the CBOT. Weekly exports sales totaled 482,100 tonnes down substantially lower than analysts’ estimates of 1.0 to 1.3 million tonnes. The dollar index gained strength throughout the session adding downward pressure to prices.
Soybean futures settled 14 to 18 cents higher on Thursday. Soybean futures soared amid weakness in the corn and wheat markets. Soybean export sales were up 40 percent over the previous week but still well short of trade expectations. However, most of the sales were for the 2011/12 crop year, which provided support to the market. News that Argentina’s 2011/12 soybean crop was cut to 39.9 million, down from 41 million lifted prices as well.
Wheat futures settled mixed on Thursday. Wheat futures at the CBOT were dragged down by spillover pressure in the corn market. The rally in the dollar index also proved to be bearish for the market. However, losses were limited as wheat export sales were reported at 829,000 tonnes, up more than analysts’ expectations of 350,000 to 550,000 tonnes.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday. Cattle futures continued to trade on both sides of the market today. Beef cutouts were up at midday but only slightly. Beef packer margins remain positive while slaughter numbers are down 2,000 head from the previous week. Movement in the cash market is steady, with prices reported as $2 lower than the previous week’s prices.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Thursday. Hog futures rallied on short covering earlier in the trading session; however trade remained choppy throughout much of the day. Demand and declining pork prices remained bearish for the market. Trade in the cash market was reported as light with prices 50 cents to $1 lower.