Corn futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. The market was supported by weakness in the dollar index and strength in the stock market amid optimism over the European debt situation and the U.S. weekly jobless report coming in at the lowest level in nearly four years. Concern about the lowered corn production potential in Argentina was also supportive. Some rain is forecast for Argentina this weekend and later next week, but it will be too late to help the corn crop much. March ended 13 1/4 cents higher at $6.06 3/4 and May was 12 3/4 cents higher at $6.13.
Soybean futures were solidly higher on Thursday. Reports of fresh demand from China of 10 to 12 cargoes of U.S. soybeans helped support the market. Weakness in the dollar index and strength in the stock market also contributed to the rally. Further gains were limited by forecasts for some much needed rainfall in Argentina this weekend that should help ease crop stress. March closed 13 cents higher at $11.96 1/2 and May was 11 1/4 cents higher at $12.03 1/2.
Wheat futures traded mostly higher on Thursday. Weakness in the dollar index and some spillover support from corn helped support wheat trade. However, gains are being limited and some contracts were lower amid sluggish export demand and ample global wheat supplies. The International Grains Council raised its forecast for global wheat production to a record 690 million tonnes, up 7 million tonnes from its previous forecast. CBOT March was 13 1/2 cents higher at $6.05 3/4, KCBT March closed 5 cents higher at $6.58 while MGE March ended 1 3/4 cents lower at $7.99.
Cattle futures closed strongly higher Thursday. The market was supported by short-covering and outside market support. Strength in the stock market and the smallest weekly jobless claims in nearly four-years were positive indicators for beef demand. Gains in cattle futures were also being attributed to positioning ahead of the Cattle on Feed report. February is 78 cents higher at $124.00 and April is $1.05 higher at $127.70.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. Profit-taking from recent gains weighed on the futures market today. Futures have been rising as pork prices have turned higher and cash markets have been working higher as well. Tightening supplies of market ready hogs are encouraging packers to raise bids despite poor processing margins. February closed 88 cents lower at $85.40 and April was 43 cents lower at $87.50.