***** The grain markets were all over the place today. Corn finished mixed 1/2 lower to 1/2 higher; wheat settled higher with gains of 1 3/4 to 4 3/4 cents and the soybean market was the big loser today, dropping 10 3/4 to 18 1/4 cents.
Corn futures ended the session in a narrow range with a benign weather forecast ahead. The five-day forecast calls for light to moderate showers in the central and northwestern Plains, and only lighter amounts helping in the eastern Midwest. Exports for U.S. corn may slump going forward, with competition from Paranagua at a 55 cents discount than at the U.S. Gulf.
Wheat futures finally pulled out of its downward spiral, although gains were puny in comparison to the losses of the last few days. Commercial buyers stepped in when prices neared their lowest level in four weeks. Overall though, the wheat outlook is weighed down by expectations that world wheat production will be enough to keep supplies plentiful. Rumors of higher yields in Russia’s current harvest also added to bearish pressure.
Soybean futures closed lower with the five-day forecast calling for helpful showers in the central and northwestern Plains while the eastern Midwest has more chances for drying. USDA announced late in the day that 6.6 million bushels of new-crop soybeans were sold to China and 40,000 metric tons of old-crop soybean oil was sold to Venezuela, but the news offered no bullish effect for prices.
**** Live cattle futures closed sharply lower on Thursday, lean hogs finished mixed.
Live cattle futures ended the session with losses in the three-digit category. Residual selling pressure and fears of further losses in the cash cattle trade triggered yet another round of selling.
The lean hog futures 2015 contracts all closed lower, further deferred contracts were steady to modestly higher. The 2015 contracts fell to spillover selling from the cattle complex.
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