Corn futures closed lower on Thursday. Corn futures plummeted shortly after midsession as disappointing U.S. economic data pressured outside markets sparking sell offs across commodities. Lack of fresh news concerning the market and profit taking from record highs this summer also kept prices in check today. The critical supply/demand situation will continue to underpin the market, but traders believe the markets are looking for more fresh news to provide direction moving forward. September corn closed 22 cents lower at $8.08 while December closed 19 cents lower at $8.15.
Soybean futures closed lower on Thursday. Soybean futures traded both sides of unchanged during the day session before tumbling as outside markets dropped on poor economic outlooks domestically and globally. For a time soybean futures were higher on bullish export data. Export shipments totaled 597,300 tonnes this week, topping estimates of 521,200 tonnes. Bean prices were also supported by announcements by the USDA that export sales of 202,000 tonnes of soybeans were sold to an unknown destination, 165,000 tonnes of soybean and 55,000 tonnes of soybean oil were sold to China for delivery during the 2012/13 marketing year. September closed 20 cents lower at $17.25 while November closed 14 cents lower at $17.13.
Wheat futures closed lower on Thursday. Wheat prices followed the corn and soy markets lower today, closing near session lows. The market has closed lower for the second consecutive day with double digit losses across all three exchanges. Prices were supported early on by lower dollar index and IGC’s (International Grain Council) forecast Russian wheat production 4 million tonnes lower at 41 million however traders believe that tightening global stocks and reductions to the Russian wheat crop are already priced into the market. September wheat at CBOT closed 22 cents lower at $8.47, KGBT closed 23 cents lower at $8.82; and MGE closed down 21 cents at $9.20.
Live cattle futures rebounded to close higher on Thursday. Early morning traded was pressured by weak export data that implied a slowdown in beef demand. Weekly beef export sales totaled 14,700 tonnes this week, approximately 6,200 tonnes lower than the previous week’s sales. However, prices were able to gain momentum as the grain prices tumbled and midday boxed beef prices improved. Cash trade is anticipated to pick up this late this afternoon with asking prices of $123 in the South and $195 plus in the North. October closed 45 cents higher at $124.90 while December closed 37 cent higher at $128.42.
Lean hog futures closed lower on Thursday. Weakness in the grain complex was not enough to pull hog futures to a higher close. The downturn in the corn market helped to temper Wednesday’s sharp losses but bearish market fundamentals kept prices in check most of the day session. Large hog supplies continue to weigh on futures along with plummeting pork cutout values and lower cash prices. Wednesday’s pork cutout value was close to $3 lower at $86.26. As of today, packers have slaughtered 1.272 million hogs this week approximately 20,000 head more than the previous week, taking advantage of the recent price setbacks in the market. October closed 60 cents lower at $72.70 while December closed 22 cents lower at $70.65.