Corn futures closed sharply lower on Thursday. Strength in the dollar, talk of better-than-expected yields in some early harvest reports and profit-taking from contract highs posted earlier in the week pressured the market. Hot and dry weather will in the Corn Belt this week could weigh on condition ratings this week, but forecasts call for cooler temperatures and some chances of rain this weekend. December was 29 cents lower at $7.38 1/2 and March was 28 1/4 cents lower at $7.50 3/4.
Soybean futures were solidly lower on Thursday. Profit-taking after the spot contract hit the highest level in nearly three years weighed on the market. Strength in the dollar helped trigger the weakness. Recent hot and dry weather in the Midwest could further decrease yield potential, but forecasts are calling for cooler temperatures and chances of rain in the Midwest this weekend. November closed 23 cents lower at $14.34 1/2 and January was 22 cents lower at $14.45 1/4.
Wheat futures traded strongly lower on Thursday. Profit-taking following the gains in August, sluggish export demand, spillover pressure from corn and strength in the dollar weighed on the market. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 13.6 million bushels were near the low end of trade expectations. There are forecasts for some much needed rainfall in the southern Plains, but more will be needed to improved soil moisture levels ahead of fall seeding. CBOT December ended 30 1/2 cents lower at $7.61, KCBT December closed 23 cents lower at $8.72 and MGE December fell 14 1/2 cents to $9.32.
Cattle futures were lower on Thursday as the market was waiting for the cash market to develop for further direction. Beef prices continue to decline as demand has been slowed after packers filled Labor Day orders last week. Choice cutouts were down $1.78 and select cuts were $1.70 lower on Wednesday. October closed 43 cents lower at $113.60 and December ended 48 cents lower at $115.43.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. Bearish cash fundamentals weighed on the futures market. Pork cutouts were down another $1.55 yesterday as demand for pork is sluggish after Labor Day orders were filled last week. Cash prices are falling sharply, with national average hog prices down $2.70 on Wednesday and another $1-$2 lower on Thursday. Increasing market ready hog numbers and rising slaughter weights coupled with the soft demand are expected to keep the cash market on the defensive for the near-term. October closed 33 cents lower at $85.18 and December was 90 cents lower at $82.00.