Corn futures traded lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by technical selling and strength in the dollar. Futures were higher overnight on commercial buying and spillover support from soybeans. New-crop 2011 contracts led the decline on an estimate of increased acreage next year from a private firm. December closed 2 3/4 cents lower at $5.64 and March was 3 cents lower at $5.78.
Soybean futures closed strongly higher on Thursday. Continued strong demand for U.S. soybeans from China and follow-through buying from USDA’s bullish crop and ending stock projections on Tuesday supported the market. Gains were extended by a forecast from a private firm calling for a drop in 2011 soybean acreage. January ended 19 1/2 cents higher at $13.39 and March was 19 cents higher at $13.47.
Wheat futures were lower on Thursday. Technical selling, forecasts for beneficial rainfall the Plains and Midwest and strength in the dollar were bearish factors. Rainfall is expected to help improve winter wheat condition ratings, which have been very low so far this fall. CBOT Dec ended 6 cents lower at $7.04, KCBT Dec was 4 3/4 cents lower at $7.68 and MGE Dec closed 5 1/4 cents lower at $7.76 3/4.
Cattle futures closed mixed on Thursday. Front end futures turned lower on profit-taking and ideas that cash trade would develop at steady to lower levels this week. Light trade was noted earlier in the week in Kansas at $97.50 compared to $98 last week. Showlists are smaller this week, but boxed beef prices have been moving mostly lower. Choice cutouts were down 92 cents on Wednesday and fell another 30 cents at midday Thursday. December ended 35 cents lower at $99.05 and February was 15 cents lower at $102.88.
Lean hog futures traded higher on Thursday. Front end futures led the gains on strength in the cash market. Iowa/s. Minnesota cash prices were up $1.41 on Thursday morning. There are ideas that hog weights and slaughter numbers are peaking seasonally. December closed 88 cents higher at $69.13 and February was 65 cents higher at $75.45.
Cotton futures closed lower on Thursday. Profit-taking and spillover weakness from lower Chinese cotton prices weighed on prices today. Cotton prices have rallied sharply since July and have hit the highest level since the Civil war. December closed 144 points lower at 144.21 cents and March was 193 points lower at 139.18 cents.