Grain markets close lower ahead of USDA reports

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Corn futures closed mixed on Thursday. The market began to see prices pull back shortly after midday as traders took profits and looked to position themselves ahead of USDA’s June acreage and quarterly stocks report tomorrow. Planted corn acres are expected to be around 95.6 million acres. Weather forecasts across the Midwest have not changed and temperatures are expected to reach triple digits going into the weekend, with no signs of relief over the next 7 to 10 days.

Soybean futures closed 4 to 9 cents lower on Thursday. Soybean futures much like the corn market closed lower ahead of tomorrow’s USDA stocks and acreage report. Prices dropped on end of the month liquidation and position squaring by traders. The trade is expecting to see an increase in the 2012 soybean acreage. The average of analysts’ estimates peg soybean acreage at 75.5 million acres, up from 73.9 million acres.

Wheat futures closed lower on Thursday. Profit taking and end of the month position squaring ahead of tomorrow’s USDA stocks and acreage reports weighed on market prices. The trade is expected an increase in wheat acres planted due to ideal growing conditions this spring. Analyst’s estimate spring wheat acres 5 percent higher, at 12.5 million acres and all wheat acres higher at 56.8 million acres.

Cattle futures closed sharply higher on Thursday. Cattle futures ended the day higher on strong export demand and short covering despite minimal cash trade movement and mixed beef prices. USDA reported beef export sales at 18,400 tonnes, up 3,400 tonnes higher than the previous week, giving market prices an extra boost. Trade is yet undeveloped but is anticipated to be steady due to higher futures prices.

Lean hog futures closed higher on Thursday. Hog futures were supported by market short covering and futures discount to cash prices. Pork prices remain firm, helping to prop up prices. The USDA is set to release its quarterly Hogs and Pigs report tomorrow afternoon. The trade is expecting to see an increase in both market hog and breeding herd numbers.



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