Corn futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. The spot contract rallied to a 26 month high on the decline in the dollar and strength in crude oil and the stock market. Outside markets triggered today’s rally, but ideas that USDA will lower their yield and production estimates on November 9 remains an underlying supportive factor. Further gains are being limited by weekly export sales being reported at 18.2 million bushels this morning, which was below pre-report trade expectations. December closed 9 cents higher at $5.90 and March was 9 1/4 cents higher at $6.03 3/4.
Soybean futures settled sharply higher on Thursday. The spot contract rallied to a 16 month high and most months hit new contract highs. Futures were supported by weakness in the dollar and strength in crude oil and gold. In addition, weekly export sales were reported this morning at 58.3 million bushels, which were above the range of pre-report expectations. January ended 37 1/4 cents higher at $12.74 3/4 and March was 38 1/2 cents higher at $12.83 1/4.
Wheat futures traded strongly higher on Thursday. The declining value of the dollar and spillover support from corn and soybeans triggered the rally. Poor winter wheat conditions ratings and more dry weather in parts of the Plains and Midwest remain underlying bullish factors. The market was higher despite weekly export sales for this marketing year at 20.8 million bushels, which was at the low end of trade expectations. CBOT Dec ended 23 1/2 cents higher at $7.13 3/4, KCBT Dec was 22 1/2 cents higher at $7.69 and MGE Dec closed 22 1/2 cents higher at $7.84 3/4.
Cattle futures closed mostly higher on Thursday. Weakness in the cash market this week and midday losses in boxed beef prices at midday weighed on the December contract. But deferred months were supported by strength in the stock market and higher grain prices. Increased feed costs could limit cattle on feed moving forward. December ended 5 cents lower at $97.65 and February was 30 cents higher at $101.48.
Lean hog futures were solidly higher on Thursday. The rebound in the cash market and outside markets triggered the short-covering rally. Weakness in the dollar is supportive for pork exports. Strength in the corn market could also limit hog production in 2011. December closed 85 cents higher at $67.63 and February was $1.25 higher at $73.80.
Cotton futures were sharply higher on Thursday. Futures have rallied to new record high for the third consecutive session. Fund buying was driven by outside markets as the dollar was strongly lower today while the stock market was higher. Weekly export sales reported this morning were very strong again at 560,800 bales. December closed 493 points higher at 140.45 cents and March was up the limit 500 points at 136.66 cents.