Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. Sharp gains in crude oil and the stock market along with weakness in the dollar supported futures. Continued talk that China will buy more U.S. corn remains a supportive factor. But gains were limited by generally favorable crop weather and weekly export sales coming in at the low end of pre-report trade estimates. July ended 1 3/4 cents higher at $3.73 1/4 and December was 2 3/4 cents higher at $3.93 1/2.
Soybean futures were higher on Thursday. Outside markets provided support with strong gains in the stock market and crude and weakness in the dollar. But further gains were limited by favorable crop weather for planting and growth of the newly emerged crop. Weekly export sales reported this morning were below trade expectations and Census Bureau April soybean crush at 136.6 million bushels was below trade estimates averaging 138.1 million. July ended 13 3/4 cents higher at $9.51 3/4 and November closed 8 3/4 cents higher at $9.18 3/4.
Wheat futures traded higher on Thursday. Weakness in the dollar and higher equity markets helped futures rebound from technically oversold levels. In addition, weekly export sales reported this morning were above pre-report trade expectations and soybeans provided some spillover support. CBOT July closed 6 cents higher at $4.67 3/4, KCBT July ended 4 cents higher at $4.92 3/4 and MGE July was 5 cents higher at $5.13 3/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. Weakness in the dollar and strength in the stock market helped to support futures. The discount of futures to cash was also supportive. However, gains were limited by weakness in the cash market earlier this week and declining boxed beef prices. Boxed beef prices were lower at midday, with choice cutouts hitting the lowest since April 8. June closed 78 cents higher at $91.58 and August was 85 cents higher at $90.78.
Lean hog futures traded mixed on Thursday. Front end contracts were mostly lower, pressured by weakness in the cash market and ideas that pork cutout values have topped. Cash markets were down about $2 on Wednesday and the weak tone continued today as packers need less hogs to fill smaller slaughter schedules as Memorial Day orders were filled last week. June closed 48 cents lower at $81.18 and August was 33 cents lower at $82.90.