Corn futures closed sharply lower on Thursday with limit losses being seen. USDA revisions for corn were bearish for prices with production and December 1 corn stocks higher-than-expected. Corn production for 2011 is estimated at 12.358 billion bushels, up 48 million bushels from November, while the trade was anticipating a decrease. December 1 stocks, at 9.642 billion bushels, came in nearly 250 million bushels above trade expectations. U.S. ending stocks are projected at 846 million bushels, down only 2 million from December, but about 100 million above trade expectations. March futures ended 40 cents lower at $6.11 1/2 and May was 40 cents lower at $6.18 1/4.
Soybean futures traded strongly lower on Thursday. USDA reports this morning were net fundamentally bearish. USDA increased its forecast for U.S. 2011/12 soybean ending stocks by 45 million bushels to 275 million. USDA’s final estimate of production for the 2011 crop was increased by 10 million to 3.056 billion bushels. Those are bearish revisions. On the bullish side, USDA lowered its forecasts for South American production and it lowered its forecast for global ending stocks. USDA reported the quarterly stocks of soybeans at 2.366 billion bushels. That was above expectations, but consistent with the crop itself totaling larger than expected. January closed24 cents lower at $11.73 1/2 and March was 18 1/2 cents lower at $11.84 1/2.
Wheat futures closed sharply lower on Thursday. Of three significant reports released by USDA this morning, only one (Dec. 1 Grain Stocks) was even slightly friendly. The other two were bearish, with 2012 Winter Wheat Seedings especially bearish. For December 1 stocks, USDA came in at 1.656 billion bu., 39 million below the average pre-report trade. But total winter wheat seedings for 2012 came in at 41.947 million acres, up 3.2% from 40.646 million in 2011 and more than a million acres higher than the average pre-report trade estimate. Global ending stocks for 2011/12 were raised by a net 1.5 million metric tons. CBOT March ended 36 cents lower at $6.05, KCBT March was 28 3/4 cents lower at $6.73 and MGE March fell9 1/4 cents to close, at $8.07 1/2.
Cattle futures traded lower on Thursday. Front end losses were limited by uncertainty about the cash market this week. Packer processing margins are poor, but showlists are smaller this week and packers are short-bought. But deferred contracts were pressured by declining beef prices and the sharp decline in corn prices today. February closed8 cents lower at $121.25 and April was 5 cents lower at $125.25.
Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday. Nearby hog contracts are trading higher on short-covering amid ideas that the losses on Wednesday were overdone and on the strong tone in the cash market. But later deferred months were mostly lower with some pressure from the sharp decline in corn prices, which could encourage increased pork production. February ended $1.05 higher at $83.95 and April was 78 cents higher at $86.58.