Ag markets diverged modestly Thursday morning
Sliding soybean prices seemed to undercut corn Thursday morning. The corn market is probably suffering from downward pressure as the Corn Belt harvest accelerates, but the modest overnight losses seemed to be sparked by concurrent selling in the soy complex. December corn sank 3.0 cents to $4.5175/bushel around dawn Thursday, and May dipped 3.25 cents to $4.7225.
Chinese sales probably depressed the soy complex in early trade. Chinese officials reportedly sold a substantial amount of soybeans from state reserves early Thursday morning, which suggests diminished short-term import demand. Meanwhile, persistent weakness in the Asian palm oil markets seemed to weigh upon soy oil values. November soybeans fell 8.25 cents to $13.135/bushel in early Thursday action, while October soyoil slipped 0.17 cents to 41.65 cents/pound, and October soymeal sagged $2.9 to $415.7/ton.
The wheat markets were mixed to start Thursday trading. The global wheat situation still seems rather bullish, with traders focusing upon potential Chinese buying and Argentine crop problems. However, there was little fresh news Wednesday night, which seemed to render the markets vulnerable to selling spilling over from the soybean pit. December CBOT wheat slid 1.75 cents to $6.6875/bushel early Thursday morning, while December KCBT wheat edged down 0.25 cent to $7.18, and December MGE futures gained 1.25 cents to $7.195.
Mixed beef news seemed to have a similar effect upon cattle futures last night. The cattle market has risen significantly in response to good news lately. Rising wholesale prices have been a part of that equation. However, beef cutout values turned mixed Wednesday, thereby seeming to rob the market of some of its upward momentum. October cattle futures skidded 0.17 cents to 127.37 cents/pound as trading accelerated Thursday, while December was flat at 131.27. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle surged 0.45 cents to 163.37 cents/pound, and January lifted 0.15 cents to 163.20.
Hog futures suffered from late Wednesday reports of cash weakness. The hog and pork complex has proven quite strong on a seasonal basis lately, with a sizeable discount built into nearby CME futures opening the door to a big Chicago advance. However, that move halved the difference early this week. Thus, Wednesday afternoon reports of cash weakness weighed rather heavily upon nearby futures overnight. October hog futures dropped 0.42 cents to 93.27 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December lost 0.27 cents to 88.32.
Chinese news boosted cotton futures overnight. Chinese officials announced Wednesday night that they have made no decision concerning another round of sales from state-owned cotton reserves this year. One could probably argue for a price reaction in either direction. However, those officials also stated China’s 2013 cotton crop at 6.315 million tonnes, which represents a 337,000-tonne (5%) annual reduction. That sparked modest buying in New York. December cotton gained 0.30 cents to 84.95 cents/pound around sunrise Thursday, while March added 0.38 at 84.80.