Corn futures traded lower on Thursday. The nearby contract had closed higher for ten consecutive days, but profit-taking pushed prices lower today. The weakness is being attributed to profit-taking at the end of the year. Weekly export sales of 29.8 million bushels were at the low end of trade expectations. March closed 8 cents lower at $6.16 and May was 8 cents lower at $6.24.


Soybean futures closed steady to lower on Thursday. The market traded mixed, but was pulled lower into the close by weakness in corn and wheat. Weekly export sales reported this morning were strong again at 34.9 million bushels, which were within pre-report trade expectations. January settled unchanged at $13.66 and March was 1 cent lower at $13.76.   


Wheat futures closed solidly lower on Thursday. Profit-taking weighed on futures following the rally to a five month high on Wednesday for the CBOT spot contract. There was also talk of heavy selling in anticipation that index funds will sell cotton in January to rebalance portfolios. Weekly export sales reported the morning of 16.1 million bushels were below the range of pre-report trade estimates. CBOT March ended 14 1/4 cents lower at $8.43 1/2, KCBT March was 14 1/4 cents lower at $8.43 1/2 and MGE March fell 11 1/4 cents to close at $8.72.

Cattle futures closed mostly lower on Thursday. The nearby December contract was higher following the strength in the cash market and beef prices this week. Cash trade was up $3-$4 on a live basis this week at $106-$107. Choice cutouts were up $1.55 on Wednesday and were up another 59 cents at midday. However, deferreds contracts were pressured by profit-taking. December ended 68 cents higher at $107.00 while February was 93 cents lower at $107.33.


Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. End-of-year profit-taking and futures premium to cash weighed on futures. The market was lower despite recent strength in the cash market. The cash market was supported by short-bought packers who needed supplies for next week’s full slaughter schedule. February closed 75 cents lower at $78.85 and April was 43 cents lower at $82.93.