Ag markets began Thursday mostly lower

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Corn futures declined Wednesday night. The prospect of a huge fall harvest is weighed upon the crop markets again last night. Meteorologists continue pointing to a significant rain event next week, which is alleviating concerns about potential August dryness. Corn futures fell slightly as traders looked toward today’s weekly Export Sales report. September corn edged 1.75 cents lower to $3.6075/bushel in early Thursday trading, while December lost 1.75 cents to $3.6975.

Talk of demand strength and old crop tightness is supporting the soy complex. Expiring August soybean and meal futures led prices in those pits modestly higher last night, with traders citing a lack of deliverable supplies. One has to suspect bulls are expecting favorable numbers on the Export Sales report. Big palm losses in Asia spilled over into the soyoil pit. August soybean futures ran up 4.0 cents to $12.245/bushel Wednesday night, while November futures rose 0.75 cents to $10.82. August soyoil sagged 0.09 cents to 35.96 cents/pound but August soymeal climbed $3.5 to $391.1/ton.

Wheat futures slipped along with corn last night. Anticipation of persistently favorable weather and large wheat crops here in the U.S. and around the world are depressing the wheat markets once again. However, talk that Egypt has been paying up for Russian wheat seemed to limit the losses. September CBOT wheat dipped 2.25 cents to $5.25/bushel as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while September KC wheat skidded 1.25 cents to $6.1575/bushel, and September MWE wheat stumbled 0.75 cent to $6.12.

Cattle traders are probably awaiting cash news. Despite the fact that beef cutout values continued their upward march Wednesday afternoon, live cattle futures barely inched upward overnight. That probably reflects trader caution ahead of anticipated cash market action later today or tomorrow. August live cattle stalled at 159.85 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December slipped 0.07 cents to 159.85. Meanwhile, August feeder futures gained 0.47 cents to 223.50 cents/pound, and October feeders added 0.07 to 224.10.

Bears continue dominating the hog market. The swine industry clearly expects a major seasonal breakdown in hog prices during the days and weeks ahead. That’s particularly apparent this morning, since late-Wednesday cash and wholesale news marked an improvement from midsession quotes, whereas CME futures continued yesterday’s breakdown. August hog futures dove 0.90 cents to 118.25 cents/pound in early Thursday action, while December fell 0.60 cents to 93.85.

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