Livestock markets turn lower on liquidation

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Corn futures settled lower on Thursday. Spillover support from the soybean market was not enough to keep corn futures afloat. Prices turned lower during the intraday session on technical selling. Traders liquidate positions after front month December contract could not break resistance at $7.63. Yesterday’s crop progress report showed corn harvest 91 percent complete, slightly below analysts’ estimates but well above the previous year. December corn futures settled 5 cents lower.

Soybean futures settled higher on Thursday. Soybean futures ended the session higher although well off of midday highs. Today’s price support was tied to production concerns in Argentina and export demand optimism. As concern circulates pertaining to the forthcoming South American soy crop, demand for U.S. soybeans is expected to increase. Favorable economic data out of China was also supportive for prices. November soybean futures settled 11 ½ cents higher.

Wheat futures settled higher on Thursday. Wheat futures closed higher for the second consecutive trading session. Global supply worries and dry conditions in the U.S. Plains supported futures prices. USDA reported its first condition ratings for the forthcoming winter wheat crop. U.S. winter wheat was pegged at 40 percent good/excellent, 6 percentage points lower than the previous year. December wheat futures at CBOT settled 4 cents higher; KCBT settled 4 ½ cents higher; and MGE settled 1 ¼ cents higher.

Live cattle futures closed lower on Thursday. Despite posting moderate gains during early trading hours, cattle futures unraveled on sliding wholesale beef prices. Midday wholesale beef prices were reported lower for both choice and select cutouts. Poor packer margins, unsupportive fundamentals, and lower cash prices were all bearish for prices today. December cattle futures closed 60 cents lower while February (2013) closed 65 cents lower.

Lean hog futures closed lower on Thursday. Hog futures closed lower on technical selling. Early morning momentum gave way after nearby December contract could not push above key resistance of $79 per cwt. Also poor fundamentals coupled with easing cash prices added downward pressure on futures. Pork processor margins are improving but bids still remain steady to lower. December hog futures closed 40 cents lower while February futures closed 33 cents lower.

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