Corn futures were solidly higher on Thursday. Increasing ideas of a smaller acreage number, spillover support from soybeans and further weakness in the dollar supported the market. The market appears to be looking for corn acreage to be down 1.5 million to 2.0 million acres from planting intentions of 92.2 million. July closed 8 cents higher at $7.66 1/2 and December was 15 1/2 cents higher at $6.95.
Soybean futures traded strongly higher on Thursday. The market was supported by concern about smaller acreage and lower yield potential due to the slow pace of planting and emergence. Planting progress as of Sunday was 51% complete, well below the five-year average of 71%. Technical buying and weakness in the dollar index also helped rally the market. July ended 20 3/4 cents higher at $14.07 and November was 18 cents higher at $13.92 3/4.
Wheat futures closed higher on Thursday, rebounding from sharply losses earlier in the week. The market has been pressured by news this week that Russia will lift its ban on grain exports July 1. However, much of their wheat is expected to be low quality and high quality wheat supplies are expected to remains tight. Forecasts call for more rain in the northern Plains, which will further delay spring wheat planting. CBOT July ended 10 1/2 cents higher at $7.69 3/4, KCBT July was 17 1/2 cents higher at $9.09 and MGE July was 14 cents higher at $10.19 1/2.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday. The June contract was supported by the discount of futures to cash trade this week and strong packer margins. Deferred contracts were slightly lower on concern about ample supplies of cattle and uncertainty about demand. Recent economic data has been disappointing, suggesting the economic recovery is losing momentum. June closed 45 cents higher at $102.60 while August was 25 cents lower at $103.68.
Lean hog futures traded mostly lower on Thursday. The $1.70 decline in pork cutout values and steady to lower cash markets weighed on futures trade. Packer margins remain poor following recent weakness in pork prices. Pork cutout values were at an all-time high level on May 16, but have since fallen 10%. There are ideas that Memorial Day weekend pork sales were disappointing given the recent weakness in pork prices. June closed 70 cents lower at $89.08 and July was $1.18 lower at $87.98.