Corn futures were moderately lower early Thursday morning. There was little fresh news Wednesday night, so traders were thrown back upon underlying forces for direction. Bulls seemingly focused upon continued U.S. dollar slippage and its potentially positive impact upon demand, whereas bears argued that fine weather will allow the Corn Belt harvest to accelerate during the days ahead. December corn futures slipped 1.75 cents to $4.425 around dawn Thursday, while May futures sagged 1.75 cents to $4.62.
The soy complex moved generally lower overnight. As with the grain markets, little news concerning soybeans and products emerged Wednesday night. The palm oil market declined, which apparently weighed upon soyoil values, which in turn weighed upon CBOT beans. That would have done little to depress U.S. meal prices, especially since recent talk has centered upon strong country demand. November soybean futures declined 3.25 cents to $13.0675/bushel in early morning trading Thursday, and December soyoil lost 0.13 cents to 41.37 cents/pound, while December soymeal skidded $0.3 to $420.9/ton.
Wheat futures also lost ground in early trading. Recent talk of a tightening global situation seemed to provide persistent support for the wheat markets again this morning, but there was no real overnight news. Traders are probably waiting for the weekly USDA Export Sales data to emerge later in the morning. December CBOT wheat futures sank 4.0 cents to $6.9775/bushel early Thursday morning, while December KCBT wheat futures dipped 4.0 cents to $7.6675 and December MWE futures slid 2.75 cents to $7.56.
Surging beef prices continue supporting cattle futures. Despite news that cash prices had pushed to record highs Wednesday morning, live cattle futures slid soon thereafter. Traders apparently worry about seasonal weakness from this point. However, the late afternoon wholesale report stated cutout values significantly higher once again, which very likely powered the modest overnight bounce. December cattle rallied 0.30 cents to 133.05 just before sunrise Thursday, while April gained 0.07 to 135.07. November feeder cattle inched up 0.07 cents to 167.70 cents/pound and January feeders added 0.17 to 167.75.
Renewed wholesale weakness apparently depressed nearby hog futures in early Thursday action. Concerns about the short-term outlook have rather clearly weighed upon the hog and pork complex lately. Indeed, pork cutout fell sharply again Wednesday afternoon, but a modest rise in Iowa-Southern Minnesota cash values seemed to limit overnight losses. December hog futures slumped 0.10 cents to 88.05 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while April crept up 0.02 cents to 90.62 cents/pound.
Technical selling is probably exaggerating the current cotton decline. As with the other crop markets, there was no real news concerning the cotton outlook last night. Equity index futures rebounded, but ICE traders seemed to pay little attention. Instead, prices continued Wednesday’s sizeable breakdown, with the nearby December future dipping below the 80-cent level. Indeed, the size of the ongoing drop suggests a great deal of technical selling is entering the market at this point. December cotton futures dove 1.28 cents to 79.41 cents/pound just after sunrise Thursday, while March cotton fell 1.12 to 81.15.