Corn futures settled strongly higher on Thursday. Follow-through buying from the sharply rally yesterday and the bullish USDA reports pushed prices higher. Weakness in the dollar index was also a supportive factor. Weekly export sales reported this morning at 20 million bushels were within trade expectations and in the daily reporting system USDA reported sales of 116,000 tonnes to “unknown destinations”. March closed 11 1/2 cents higher at $6.42 1/2 and May was 11 3/4 cents higher at $6.51 1/2.
Soybean futures closed higher on Thursday. The market was supported by continued bullish sentiment from the USDA reports on Wednesday and concern about hot and dry weather in Argentina that will continue to stress the soybean crop. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 24.8 million bushels were within trade expectations. Gains were limited late in the session by profit-taking. March ended 1 cent higher at $14.16 and May was 1 3/4 cents higher at $14.25 1/2.
Wheat futures traded higher on Thursday. Spillover support from corn and strong losses in the dollar index helped push wheat futures higher. On Wednesday, USDA raised its export forecast for wheat this marketing year by 50 million bushels in the Supply/Demand report. However, weekly export sales reported this morning of only 6.4 million bushels were below pre-report trade expectations. CBOT March closed 13 cents higher at $7.83 1/2, KCBT March ended 16 1/2 cents higher at $8.68 1/2 and MGE March was 16 1/4 cents higher at $8.93 3/4.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday. Front end futures were pressured by profit-taking after setting new record highs earlier this week. However, losses were limited and deferred contract rallied due to further strength in the corn market, weakness in the dollar and strengthening beef prices. February was 35 cents lower at $109.85 and April ended 25 cents lower at $114.33.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. After setting contract highs on Wednesday and overnight, profit-taking developed to push prices lower. Futures premium to cash was also a bearish factor. Further losses were limited by further strength in corn and weakness in the dollar, which is supportive for exports. February closed 90 cents lower at $80.23 and April was 65 cents lower at $86.38.