Corn futures were solidly lower on Thursday. Favorable crop weather and forecasts for generally good conditions over the next week or two put the market on the defensive. Losses were extended by strength in the dollar and weakness in crude oil. The market was underpinned at times by the strong weekly export sales report released this morning, but losses were extended ahead of the holiday weekend. September closed 10 3/4 cents lower at $3.45 3/4 and December was 11 3/4 cents lower at $3.57 1/2.



Soybean futures settled lower on Thursday. Profit-taking after the strong gains on Wednesday pushed prices lower. Other bearish factors include the generally favorable growing conditions, strength in the dollar and losses in the stock market and crude oil. Losses were limited by more business reported to China in the weekly export sales report. USDA also announced a 24 million bushel sale to China for the 2009/10 crop year in its daily reporting system. August ended 6 1/2 cents lower at $11.54 and November was 9 1/2 cents lower at $10.06.



Wheat futures closed lower on Thursday. Seasonal harvest pressure, strength in the dollar and sluggish export demand weighed on the market. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 8.9 million bushels were below trade expectations. However, losses were limited by traders evening positions ahead of the three-day holiday weekend and weather forecasts for some harvest delaying rains this weekend and early next week. CBOT Sep ended 6 1/2 cents lower at $5.29, KCBT Sep was 9 1/4 cents lower at $5.64 1/4 and MGE Sep closed 11 cents lower at $6.22 1/2.



Cattle futures closed mostly lower on Thursday, although a late rebound helped trim losses and pushed some contracts higher. The market was pressured most of the day by weakness in the stock market following the high unemployment rate reported this morning. Lower beef prices were also a negative factor, with choice cutouts down another 26 cents at midday. Cash cattle trade has not yet developed for the week, but sales are expected to be $82-$83. August closed 88 cents lower at $84.88 and October was 55 cents lower at $90.23.



Lean hog futures settled higher on Thursday. Short-covering ahead of the extended three day holiday weekend supported the market. Some firm cash bids developed today as packers were looking for supplies to finish slaughter schedules for late this week and early next week. Futures were pressured most of the day by the recent drop in pork prices and the losses today in the stock market. August closed 45 cents higher at $61.15 and October was 25 cents higher at $57.18.