Ag markets moved generally lower Thursday morning

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Corn futures continued their late slide in early Thursday trading. Forecasts for ideal mid-summer weather apparently weighed upon new crop prices overnight, while ongoing losses in old crop soybeans seems to be dragging the nearby quotes for the yellow grain downward. September corn futures dipped 1.75 cents to $5.065/bushel just after sunrise Thursday, while December slipped 1.5 cents to $4.7875.

Old crop prices led the soy complex lower again Thursday morning. This week’s losses have sparked widespread soybean selling by farmers, whereas buyers are apparently trying to hold out for new crop product, with the net result being further declines in nearby soybean and product futures. In addition, the soy and palm oil markets appear to be dragging each other lower. August soybean futures dove 31.5 cents to $13.61/bushel in early Thursday morning trading, while August soyoil tumbled 0.57 cents to 43.69 cents/pound, and August soymeal plunged the $20.0 limit to $447.8/ton.

Wheat futures continue performing relatively well. Prices at the various markets posted slight gains Wednesday, but those look quite impressive when viewed within the context of plunging soybean values and sliding corn. The late firmness may represent a reaction to the Wheat Quality Council now taking place in the northern Plains. The latest report indicated numerous factors that could limit the size of the forthcoming crop. September CBOT wheat edged up 0.75 cent to $6.54/bushel early Thursday morning, while September KCBT wheat added 0.75 cent to $6.98 and September MGE futures gained 2.25 cents to $7.4575.

The cattle complex suffered from renewed pressure Thursday morning. That was rather surprising after the Wednesday afternoon wholesale report indicated modest beef gains yesterday. The recent inability of bullish interests and producers to get the traditional second-half cattle and beef rally going may be worrying traders. August cattle sagged 0.02 cents to 121.55 cents/pound as the sun rose over Chicago Thursday, while December lost 0.17 cents to 128.10. August feeder futures bounced 0.05 cents to 153.07 cents/pound, while November declined 0.25 cents to 158.60.

Hog futures joined the general overnight decline. Persistent cash firmness and the discounts built into nearby futures are probably limiting downward pressure, but the Wednesday afternoon drop in wholesale pork values probably signaled the larger trend for the second half of the year. August hog futures skidded 0.05 cents to 98.87 cents/pound in late Wednesday trading, while December declined 0.25 cents to 83.20.

Cotton futures remained firm early Thursday morning. Despite concurrent losses in the corn and soybean markets, as well as the substantial early-Thursday weakness in equity index futures, ICE cotton futures rose slightly. Wire service reports cited talk that the U.S. supply will be relatively tight going forward, but we suspect the technical situation is encouraging buying as well. October cotton rose 0.21 cents to 86.37 cents/pound just after dawn Thursday, while December gained 0.21 cents to 85.95.

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