Lean hog futures were higher on Thursday. Profit-taking weighed on futures much of the day, but spillover strength from cattle and limit gains in corn helped turn the market higher into the close. Rising feed prices could limit pork production later in the year. April ended 18 cents higher at $93.73 and June was 73 cents higher at $103.88.
Corn futures traded locked limit up for 2011 and most 2012 contracts on Thursday. USDA reports were on balance supportive for corn. March 1 grain stocks of 6.52 billion bushels were down about 170 million bushels from trade expectations. The stocks report argues for more price rationing of old-crop corn. The prospective planting number of 92.2 million acres was about 400,000 above trade estimates. The stocks number overshadowed the slightly higher than expected acreage number. May closed 30 cents higher at $6.93 1/4 and December was 30 cents higher at $6.25 1/4.
Soybean futures were strongly higher on Thursday. USDA reports this morning were very bullish for soybeans. Grain stocks as of March 1 of 1.25 billion bushels were about 50 million bushels below trade expectations. The acreage number in the Prospective Plantings report of 76.6 million acres was about 300,000 below trade estimate. The tighter than expected stocks number argues for more old-crop rationing and new-crop will need to try to buy back more acres this spring. May ended 38 1/4 cents higher at $14.10 1/4 and November was 31 1/2 cents higher at $13.95.