Ag markets moved generally higher Thursday

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Wheat gains apparently pulled corn futures higher Thursday. A supportive global production report from the International Grains Council was apparently offset by talk that early yields from the accelerating Corn Belt harvest are topping expectations Thursday morning. However, the yellow grain market apparently benefited from strength spilling over from wheat later in the day. December corn settled 2.0 cents higher at $4.5675/bushel Thursday afternoon, and May added 2.0 cents to $4.775.

The soy complex apparently suffered harvest pressure Thursday. Chinese officials reportedly sold a substantial amount of soybeans from state reserves Thursday morning, which suggests diminished short-term import demand. And while Asian palm oil weakness was again a negative factor, traders were also talking about surprisingly good U.S. bean yields in anecdotal reports. November soybeans slid 5.0 cents to $13.1675/bushel at Thursday’s close, while October soyoil slipped 0.03 cents to 41.79 cents/pound, and October soymeal sagged $2.2 to $416.4/ton.

The wheat markets performed well again Thursday. Although today’s IGC report seemed bearish for wheat, and the weekly Export Sales report was a non-event, wheat futures rose moderately again Thursday. Traders still seem to be reacting to discussions of strong Chinese buying and Argentine crop problems. The fact that the winter wheat contracts broke out above major technical resistance Wednesday probably sparked follow-through buying. December CBOT wheat climbed 7.75 cents to $6.7825/bushel in late Thursday action, while December KCBT wheat rallied 9.0 cent to $7.2725, and December MGE futures advanced 6.25 cents to $7.245.

Cattle futures shifted with beef quotes Thursday. After rising almost four cents from their September 17 lows, the nearby cattle contracts were probably due for a setback. Mixed Wednesday afternoon beef quotes seemingly sparked early selling, but a firmer midday reading apparently powered the late rebound. October cattle futures closed up 0.15 cents to 127.70 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December bounced 0.30 cents to 131.57. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle jumped 1.45 cents to 164.37 cents/pound, and January lifted 1.00 cent to 164.05.

Talk of cash weakness may have undercut hogs futures. The recent hog rally substantially reduced the nearby contracts’ discounts to cash values. That may have rendered them vulnerable to talk of sliding country quotes, especially since those cash values have a strong history of dropping during October. October hog futures plunged 0.90 cents to 92.80 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, while December dove 0.87 cents to 87.72.

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