Corn futures closed lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by favorable weather for crop development in the Corn Belt and weakness in the stock market. Weather forecasts call for some favorable drier weather over the next week. Losses were limited by the bullish Weekly Export Sales report. Export sales of 57.3 million bushels were well above trade expectations. July ended 1 3/4 cents lower at $3.44 3/4 and December was 1 cent lower at $3.64 1/2.
Soybean futures traded lower on Thursday. Old-crop contract losses were limited by firm cash markets amid tight supplies, but weakness in new-crop months did pull prices lower. New crop was pressured by generally favorable weather for crop development in the Midwest as drier weather is expected. July ended 2 1/2 cents lower at $9.55 1/2 and November was 11 1/2 cents lower at $9.21 1/2.
Wheat futures were mixed on Thursday. Short-covering and the better than expected wheat export sales reported this morning helped push the CBOT higher. But losses at the MGE and seasonal harvest pressure pushed the KCBT lower. The MGE was pressured by profit-taking and the correcting of the MGE/CBOT spread. Export sales last week of 26.5 million bushels were above trade expectations. CBOT July closed 3/4 of a cent higher at $4.63, KCBT July ended 3/4 of a cent lower at $4.94 1/4 and MGE July fell 7 1/2 cents to $5.24 3/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. Short-covering and fund buying pushed prices higher. Cash trade has developed this week at $91, which helped support the soon to expire June contract. Firm boxed beef prices at midday and ideas of improved demand ahead of the fourth of July were also supportive factors. Further gains were limited by weakness in the stock market. June closed 40 cents higher at $90.65 and August was 65 cents higher at $89.15.
Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday. Front end futures were lower amid the premium of futures to cash. Weakness in pork cutouts are keeping packers from raising bids for hogs. Deferred contracts for 2011 were higher on positioning ahead of the quarterly Hogs and Pigs report due out Friday afternoon. Market hogs and breeding inventory are expected to be down 3%-3.5% from year-ago. July closed $1.38 lower at $80.08 and August was 98 cents lower at $83.25.