Grain complex closes lower Thursday

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Corn futures settle 17 to 22 cents lower on Thursday. Prices in the corn market tumbled after midday on long liquidation and sluggish ethanol demand. Weakness in the outside markets, the higher index, and lower crude oil prices weighed on the market. Bearish weekly corn export sales were pegged at 171,400 metric tonnes, below estimates of 450,000-650,000 metric tonnes

Soybean futures settled 7 to 22 cents lower on Thursday. The rally in the soybean market ended today on profit taking and global economic uncertainty. Initially the market turned lower in overnight trade on disappointing economic stimulus measures for the U.S. economy. Weakness in outside markets, a higher dollar index, and declining crude oil prices were all bearish for the market today. Weekly export sales were reported at 608,000 metric tonnes, below analysts’ estimates of 700,000 – 950,000 metric tonnes.

Wheat futures are trading 4 to 15 cents lower on Thursday. Wheat prices eventually declined as outside markets tanked and the dollar strengthened. Investor concerns about the state of the global economy returned, overshadowing today’s bullish export sales report and the possibility that USDA will lower 2012/13 wheat production estimates in next month’s supply/demand report. Weekly exports sales for wheat were well above expectations at 842,000 metric tonnes.

Cattle futures closed lower on Thursday. Cattle futures ended lower ahead of Friday’s Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage reports. The Cattle on Feed report is expected to show May placements 13 percent higher than the previous year. Factors that contributed to today’s lower cattle prices were lower weekly export sales, pressure in the corn market, and sharply lower outside markets. Cash trade remains undeveloped and is expected to be steady to lower.

Lean hogs closed mixed on Thursday. Pressure in corn and outside markets pushed prices lower at closing. Hog futures traded higher much of the day on firm fundamentals despite lower pork cutout values. The market is currently underpinned by higher cash prices, tight supplies and declining hog weights. Today’s hog slaughter was even with last week’s at 398,000 head, but down 3,000 from the previous year.



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