Corn futures closed higher on Thursday. The late downturn in the dollar and the strong weekly export sales report pushed prices higher. The market traded lower much of the day on the sharp losses in crude oil and the stock market. Weather conditions are being viewed as mostly bearish as rainfall is forecast to be followed by some warmer weather and sunshine. July was 2 3/4 cents higher at $3.62 and December ended 1/2 of a cent higher at $3.78 1/2.   


Soybean futures were higher on Thursday. The market was supported by firm cash markets and talk that some export shipments Brazil were switched to the U.S. by China. The drop in the dollar index was also a bullish factor. But gains were limited by the losses in crude oil and equities, although losses were trimmed late in the session. July closed 5 1/2 cents higher at $9.44 and November ended 2 1/4 cents higher at $9.08.


Wheat futures were mostly higher on Thursday. Short-covering and the late session gains in corn and soybeans helped push prices higher. The dollar index was higher this morning, but turned lower this afternoon. However, gains were limited by weakness in the stock market and the bearish supply/demand fundamentals. Weekly export sales of 9.2 million bushels of old-crop and 7.5 million of new-crop were below trade expectations. CBOT July closed 1/2 of a cent higher at $4.69 3/4, KCBT July was 1 cent higher at $4.92 1/2 and MGE July ended 3 cents higher at $5.14 3/4.  


Cattle futures closed strongly lower on Thursday. Fund selling weighed on the market with June hitting a 2 1/2 month low. Outside markets pressured trade as the stock market was down sharply on growing concerns about Europe’s debt crisis. In addition, U.S. jobless claims were unexpectedly higher. Boxed beef prices appear to have peaked and cash trade this week has been down compared to last week. June ended 98 cents lower at $91.45 and August was $1.05 lower at $90.48.


Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. Outside markets pressured trade with June hitting a two month low. Sharp losses in the stock market triggered fund long liquidation. Pork cutouts were down $2.30 on Wednesday and the cash market was steady to lower again today. June closed $1.78 lower at $1.78 and July ended $1.10 lower at $81.88.