Corn futures settled 6 to 9 cents higher on Thursday. Corn futures were able to push past disappointing export sales estimates to close the session higher. Weekly export sales were reported at 169,800 tonnes for both old and new crop corn, below trade estimates of 400,000 – 600,000 tonnes. The market was supported by reversals in weather forecasts. Calls for rain have now turned to forecasts of higher temperatures and continued dryness. Prices were also lifted by strength in the cash market and tightening corn supplies.
Soybean futures settled 11 to 20 cents lower on Thursday. Market prices did see some improvement from morning lows due to bullish weekly export sales and crushing estimates, but could not hold on the any gains. Weekly export sales for soybeans topped 1 million tonnes while May crushings were reported at 138.266 million bushels. The market remains sound fundamentally, with demand up and supply tight. Factors that attributed to the downward spiral of soybean futures market are long liquidation in the market and weakness in the soyoil and soymeal markets.
Wheat futures settled 5 to 17 cents higher on Thursday. The market was underpinned by bullish weekly export sales for wheat. Weekly export sales for wheat topped trade estimates at 432,900 tonnes. USDA also reported exports sales of 110,000 tonnes of soft red winter wheat to China for delivery in 2012/13. Prices were also lifted by strength in the corn market and declines in the U.S. dollar index.
Cattle futures closed lower on Thursday. The market closed lower for the second consecutive day. Cattle futures recovered slightly around midday with the market trading mixed. Estimated boxed beef prices were higher. Choice was up $1.19 while select was slightly higher by 38 cents. Trade in the cash market remains slow, weighing futures down as prices are expected to be as much as $3 lower than the previous week.
Lean hog futures closed mixed on Thursday. Hog futures ended today’s session mixed. Prices posted solid gains throughout much of the day but started to decline after midday. Losses can mostly be attributed to profit taking and weakness in cattle markets. The market continued to see support from solid prices in the cash market and higher pork prices.