The Export Sales report boosted corn futures Thursday. Short-covering seemed to support the grain and soy markets Wednesday night and the early-morning Export Sales report apparently sparked additional buying, since old-crop corn sales slightly exceeded expectations. The bullish soy complex reaction offered spillover support. July corn settled 1.75 cents higher at $4.4275/bushel Thursday afternoon, while December added 3.25 to $4.4325.

Old-crop futures led today’s bean and meal rally. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated old-crop soybean sales well above expectations, while new crop bean and meal sales matched or exceeded forecasts. Those CBOT futures reacted well, but mediocre oil sales did little for the soyoil market. July soybeans surged 21.25 cents to $14.37/bushel at their Thursday close, while July soyoil slumped 0.14 cents to 40.51 cents/pound, and July soymeal vaulted $13.8 to $467.0/ton.

The wheat markets seemed to be following corn and beans higher. The wheat result on the Export Sales report was pretty unremarkable, but nearby futures appeared to follow corn and beans upward. Traders reportedly worry about declining winter wheat quality. Deferred prices came under pressure, which likely reflected sizeable production prospects this fall. July CBOT wheat futures gained 6.75 cents to $5.8225/bushel in late Thursday trading, while July KCBT wheat ran up 7.0 cents to $7.21, and July MWE futures edged up 5.25 to $6.79.

Renewed beef strength likely spurring fresh futures gains. Wednesday’s beef price action suggested the wholesale market might be due for a sizeable seasonal setback, which probably limited CME cattle gains. However, today’s beef data proved surprisingly firm, thereby sparking fresh Chicago gains in anticipation of cash strength. August cattle jumped 2.10 cents to 152.75 cents/pound at Thursday’s settlement, while December climbed 1.25 to 155.80. Meanwhile, August and October feeder cattle soared the 3.0-cent daily limit to 215.12 and 217.07 cents/pound, respectively.

The hog market floundered ahead of Friday’s big USDA report. Cash hog and wholesale pork values have risen sharply lately, but CME hog futures tanked Wednesday and deferred contracts dropped again today. That very likely reflects trader concerns about the potential results of the quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report coming out tomorrow afternoon. August hog futures rallied 0.15 cents to 128.80 in late Thursday action, while December sank 0.45 cents to 95.65.