Ag markets mixed again Thursday morning

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The large US harvest may be limiting upside potential for corn prices. Corn futures proved firm in early Thursday trading, possibly due to the rain-stalled harvest. A huge three-week total on the weekly USDA Export Sales report also seemed bullish. However, CBOT futures were stunningly flat in late-morning trading, which may reflect the sheer size of the record U.S. crop. Both December and May corn futures were unchanged at $4.3025 and $4.50/bushel, respectively, around midsession Thursday.

An attaché report may be depressing soybeans. The USDA attaché in Argentina reportedly boosted the unofficial estimate of that country’s forthcoming soybean crop by 4.0 million to 57.5 million tonnes. That probably explains today’s bean and meal losses despite a huge soybean total on the weekly Export Sales report. November soybean futures fell 3.25 cents to $12.8425/bushel in late Thursday morning trading, while December soyoil rose 0.11 cents to 41.73 cents/pound, and December soymeal tumbled $6.6 to $405.2/ton.

The export data probably disappointed wheat traders Thursday morning. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated wheat sales around 1.309 million tonnes, thereby comparing rather poorly to forecasts in the 1.5-2.0 million-tonne range. News that the Canadian rail strike may also be ending may also have undercut the markets, since that implies freer flowing Canadian supplies in the near future. December CBOT wheat futures dipped 2.75 cents to $6.7225/bushel by late Thursday morning, and December KCBT wheat futures skidded 2.25 cents to $7.455, whereas December MWE futures gained 0.5 to $7.325.

Cattle futures were mixed ahead of the COF report. The USDA is set to belatedly release its monthly Cattle on Feed report at 2:00 PM CDT today. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see futures trading in decidedly mixed fashion during the run-up to its release. December cattle inched 0.02 cents lower to 133.10 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while April advanced 0.22 to 134.17. November feeder cattle slipped 0.17 cents to 164.77 cents/pound, and January feeders slid 0.25 to 164.55.

Sliding cash and wholesale prices kept hog futures under pressure. After suffering general losses Wednesday, cash hog and pork prices seemed weak in early Thursday trading. Concerns about seasonal weakness are probably adding to short-term pessimism. December hog futures slumped 0.80 cents to 89.60 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while April sank 0.57 cents to 93.87 cents/pound.

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