Corn futures were higher on Thursday. Outside market support and firm cash markets helped push the futures market higher. The stock market and crude oil futures were strongly higher while the dollar index was lower. Cash basis levels remain firm as farmer selling remains light. Rain is expected to slow the tail end of harvest over the next week. Weekly export sales reported this morning were solid at 26.1 million bushels. December ended 8 1/2 cents higher at $6.53 1/2 and March was 7 3/4 cents higher at $6.63 1/2.
Soybean futures closed sharply higher on Thursday. Short-covering from technically oversold levels was triggered by outside market support. The stock market and crude oil were solidly higher while the dollar index was lower on renewed hope for a plan for the European debt situation. Futures were higher despite a poor weekly export sales report total this morning of only 7.7 million bushels. November ended 25 3/4 cents higher at $12.19 1/4 and January was 24 1/2 cents higher at $12.27 1/4.
Wheat futures traded higher on Thursday. Spillover support from corn and weakness in the dollar index helped support the wheat markets today. Lingering concern about the HRW crop is supportive despite some forecast for rain in the Plains. Gains in futures were limited by sluggish export demand. Weekly export sales of 11.8 million bushels were at the very low end of pre-report trade expectations. CBOT December closed 12 1/2 cents higher at $6.36, KCBT December was 7 cents higher at $7.20 and MGE December ended 6 3/4 cents higher at $9.17.
Cattle futures are were strongly higher on Thursday. Strength in the cash market earlier this week and outside market support pushed futures higher. Strength in the stock market and weakness in the dollar were bullish factors for demand. There is optimism for improved exports to Japan as reports indicate that will allow beef from cattle 30 months or younger versus 20 months currently. December closed $2.50 higher at $124.50 and February was $1.65 higher at $126.13.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Thursday. The nearby contract was pressured by the $1.18 decline in pork cutouts on Wednesday and the steady to lower tone in the cash market. Plentiful hog numbers and declining pork prices are weighing on cash trade. Rising pork supplies are outweighing demand at this time despite ideas of continued strong exports. December was 28 cents lower at $86.60 while February was 3 cents higher at $89.75.