Corn futures traded lower on Thursday. Fund selling and sluggish export demand weighed on the market. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 13.9 million bushels were at the very low end of trade expectations. Record corn production in China has prevented China from importing corn. March closed 6 1/2 cents lower at $6.01 1/2 and May was 6 cents lower at $6.09 1/4.
Soybean futures closed lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by lackluster export demand, rising soybean crop estimates for South America and spillover weakness from crude oil futures. Weekly export sales reported this morning of 18 million bushels fell below trade expectations and were the lowest weekly total in a month. January ended 3 1/4 cents lower at $11.28 and March was 2 1/2 cents lower at $11.38 1/2.
Wheat futures settled higher on Thursday. Gains at the CBOT were limited by losses in corn and soybeans. But futures were higher led by the KCBT and MGE. Export sales of high quality wheat were supportive. Weekly export sales were reported this morning at 18.5 million bushels, up 30% from the four-week average. CBOT March was 1/4 of a cent higher at $6.14 1/4, KCBT March ended 8 cents higher at $6.69 and MGE March gains 8 3/4 cents to close at $8.32 1/4.
Cattle futures closed higher on Thursday. Technical buying helped pushed prices slightly higher despite declining beef prices and ideas that cash prices will be lower this week. Packer margins remain in the red and boxed beef values could continue to decline as wholesale buying for the holidays slow. February ended 13 cents higher at $123.73 and April is 15 cents higher at $126.85.
Lean hog futures traded lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by the $2.10 drop in pork cutouts values on Wednesday. Despite the decline in pork prices, packer demand remains solid and cash prices were steady to firm today. February closed $1.30 lower at $90.28 and April was 50 cents lower at $92.80.