Lean hog futures settled strongly lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by long liquidation as higher crude oil prices raise concern about the U.S. and global economies. In the Cold Storage report on Tuesday, USDA pegged January 31 pork stocks at 541 million pounds, up 14% from December and 10% above year-ago. April closed $1.48 lower at $89.50 and June was $1.18 lower at $100.53.
Corn futures closed lower on Thursday. Fund long liquidation continued to weigh on the market today. Political unrest in the Middle East continues to make investors nervous. However, losses were limited by crude oil prices turning lower. At the USDA Ag Outlook Forum, USDA pegged the 2011 corn acreage at 92 million and the crop at a record 13.73 billion bushels. Despite the large crop estimate, ending stocks are not expected to improve much. March ended 5 3/4 cents lower at $6.85 3/4 and December was 8 3/4 cents lower at $5.83.
Soybean futures settled slightly lower on Thursday. Speculative long liquidation was triggered by the upheaval in Libya and other parts of the Middle East. But losses were trimmed into the close as crude oil prices turned lower. At the Ag Outlook Forum, USDA pegged soybean planting intentions at 78 million acres, up slightly from last year. Despite record production, USDA expects ending stocks to remain tight. March closed 1 3/4 cents lower at $13.18 1/4 and November was 9 1/2 cents lower at $12.86 1/4.