Corn futures closed 4 to 6 cents lower on Thursday. After soaring to record levels in July, corn futures have pulled back slightly to start August. Today's volatile trade can be characterized by several factors. 1) Reversal of the outside markets due to unfavorable news concerning the EU debt crisis. 2) The higher dollar index in the wake of rising Brazilian corn exports. The market remains strongly underpinned as drought conditions linger and rainfall is expected to be below average in August. Traders are now focusing their attentions to yield projections and next week's USDA supply/demand report where the trade is expecting to moderate decline to estimated corn yields.
Soybean futures are closed 12 to 15 cents lower on Thursday. The market has closed down for the third consecutive day although prices did rebound from midday lows. The midday pullback in the outside markets coupled with long liquidation kept downward pressure on futures. However, export demand remains a bright spot. Weekly export sales were bullish with year to date sales of 1.41 billion bushels exceeding USDA's projection of 1.34 billion bushels. Supply is anticipated to tighten even further as production estimates for the current crop are expected to fall short.
Wheat futures closed 11 to 15 cents lower on Tuesday. Wheat futures followed the grain complex lower once again to close down for the third day. The resurgence of the EU debt crisis weighed on the outside markets causing investors to liquate risky assets such as agricultural commodities. Also, the higher dollar index made U.S. wheat exports unappealing on the global market adding more downward pressure to prices.
Live cattle futures closed moderately higher on Thursday. Cattle futures bounced back from midday lows on higher cash prices and higher beef cutout values. Midday beef cutouts were reported up 32 cents for choice and down 86 cents for select. Concerning the cash trade, packer bids were reported as much as $4 higher in the Plains, Texas, and Kansas closing the gap between bids and asking prices. Approximately 6,000 head sold in Texas and 20,000 head sold in Kansas today.
Lean hogs futures closed sharply lower on Thursday. Hog futures tumbled on outside market pressure. Outside markets reversed around midday as hopes for a solution to the EU debt crisis dwindle; provoking investors to sell off risky assets such as agricultural commodities. Declining corn prices and lower cash prices were also bearish for the market today.
Cotton futures closed higher on Thursday. Cotton futures bounced up and down and traded side to side most of the session. Morning prices were higher but turned lower as stock markets tanked on EU debt worries. However, prices were able to bounce back on position squaring prior to the release of key economic data released tomorrow.