Grain futures tumble on Thursday

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Corn futures traded lower on Thursday. Improved crop weather in the Corn Belt and bearish outside markets pressured futures trade. Moderating temperatures and chances of rain in the Corn Belt should help improve corn condition ratings. Sharp gains in the dollar and losses in the stock market and crude oil were also bearish factors. Weekly export sales of 29.9 million bushels were below pre-report trade expectations. September ended 12 1/4 cents lower at $6.93 3/4 and December was 11 1/2 cents lower at $7.01 1/2.

Soybean futures were strongly lower on Thursday. Futures were pressured by improved crop weather over the Midwest and forecasts for more moderate temperatures and some rain over the next couple of weeks. The sharp rally in the dollar index and losses in the stock market and crude oil were also a weight on commodity markets. Further losses were limited by weekly export sales coming in above trade expectations. USDA also reported the sale of 174,000 tonnes of soybeans to China for 2011/12 delivery. September ended 27 1/2 cents lower at $13.36 1/4 and November was 27 3/4 cents lower at $13.45 1/4.

Wheat futures closed strongly lower on Thursday. The sharp rally in the U.S. dollar index weighed on futures as it will make U.S. wheat less competitive on the export market. Weekly export sales reported this morning were within trade expectations, but export demand has struggled recently. A recent tender by Egypt went to Russia and Romania. CBOT September closed 28 3/4 cents lower at $6.81 3/4, KCBT September was 27 cents lower at $7.71 and MGE September ended 21 1/2 cents lower at $8.23 1/4.

Cattle futures closed lower on Thursday. The market was pressured by concern about the weakening economy. Weakness in the stocks market and strength in the dollar were bearish outside market factors today. While very little cash trade has developed so far this week, front end futures were losses were limited by ideas of firm cash trade. August closed 48 cents lower at $112.65 and October was 60 cents lower at $117.68.

Lean hog futures were mixed on Thursday. Strength in the cash market and record high pork prices helped support front end futures. Pork cutouts set a new record high for the seventh consecutive day, gaining $2.08 on Wednesday. But deferred contracts were mixed on outside market pressure due to the rally in the dollar index and strong losses in the stock market. August closed 90 cents higher at $105.55 and October was 50 cents higher at $92.70.



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