Corn futures traded higher on Thursday. The market was supported by spillover strength in soybeans, weakness in the dollar and fund buying from continued talk that China is buying U.S. corn. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 32.9 million bushels were at the very high end of trade expectations. May closed 10 1/4 cents higher at $6.69 and December was 8 1/4 cents higher at $5.72 1/4.
Soybean futures were solidly higher on Wednesday. Strong export demand including sales to China, declining crop prospects for the soybean crop in South America and weakness in the dollar index were supportive factors. Weekly export sales reported this morning were very strong and well above trade expectations at 51.2 million bushels. China made purchases for both old-crop and new-crop soybeans. May ended 18 3/4 cents higher at $13.69 and November was 15 1/4 cents higher at $13.26 1/4.
Wheat futures closed higher on Wednesday. Increased export demand and technical buying helped push wheat futures higher. There were reports of export sales to Iran and Egypt in the daily reporting system. Weakness in the dollar index is also a bullish factor for the export market. The market was higher despite weekly export sales reported this morning coming in below trade expectations at only 13.2 million bushels. CBOT May ended 21 cents higher at $6.64 3/4, KCBT May was 23 1/2 cents higher at $7.04 1/2 and MGE May closed 13 3/4 cents higher at $8.20 1/4.
Cattle futures turned lower on Thursday. Futures were higher much of the day and the April contract hit a 1 1/2 week high before technical selling and profit-taking weighing on futures. Cash trade is expected to be near steady with last week at $127, but there is concern about declining boxed beef prices and poor packer margins. April closed $1.45 lower at $125.58 and June was $1.05 lower at $122.85.
Lean hog futures were mostly lower on Thursday. Spillover pressure from weakness in cattle and the 60 cent decline in pork cutout values on Wednesday weighed on lean hog futures trade. However, losses were limited by recent strength in the cash market. Cash trade has been supported by packers paying higher prices for hogs to fill out slaughter schedules. April ended 50 cents lower at $86.90 and June was 43 cents lower at $94.13.