Ag markets moved mostly higher Wednesday night

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Corn futures dipped Wednesday night. Corn futures seemed to follow the bean market higher yesterday despite the generally bearish nature of current crop conditions. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the upward momentum overnight despite continued bean strength. Technical resistance at slightly higher levels seems surprisingly formidable. July corn sagged 2.5 cents to $4.70/bushel early Thursday morning, and December lost 2.5 cent to $4.67.

The soy complex continued Wednesday’s rebound. Bean and meal futures rallied on ideas that export demand remains strong yesterday, with early-morning news of a big Chinese purchase encouraging bulls. Little fresh news emerged overnight, although Asian palm oil prices sustained their recent decline. Meanwhile, traders apparently worry about the new crop outlook, since new-crop beans have risen in concert with nearby futures. July soybeans advanced 5.75 cents to $15.035/bushel just after dawn Thursday, while July soyoil rose 0.04 cents to 39.67 cents/pound, and July soymeal gained $2.2 to $500.7/ton.

The wheat markets seemed to bounce from technical support. Wheat futures had behaved poorly lately, with the July CBOT contract failing to post a substantial daily gain since May 6. The resulting ‘oversold’ nature of the markets, along with less than promising prospects for the domestic winter wheat crop seemed to spark the overnight bounce. Prices also seem to be finding support at likely March-April levels. July CBOT wheat futures bounced 4.25 cents to $6.43/bushel in early Thursday trading, while July KCBT wheat added 2.5 cents to $7.385, and July MWE futures moved up 3.0 cent to $7.21.

Cattle traders may have been expecting larger cash losses. Cash cattle have traded mostly $1-$2 lower at $143/cwt this week, but CME futures have turned decidedly higher in response. One could certainly argue that persistent beef strength is boosting the Chicago market, but one has to suspect traders were looking for larger cash losses. June cattle surged 0.85 cents to 137.00 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while December rallied 0.50 cents to 145.20. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle climbed 0.82 cents to 196.40 cents/pound, and October advanced 0.60 to 197.25.

Rebounding pork prices boosted hog futures Wednesday night. Hog futures proved quite weak yesterday, but did post what might have been a candlestick reversal signal. Bulls could also be encouraged by Wednesday’s afternoon reports, which showed cash prices mixed and wholesale prices sharply higher. CME futures posted moderate gains in reaction. June hog futures edged up 0.30 cents to 114.85 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December rose 0.05 to 95.05.

Cotton futures continue looking for support. Although the cotton market has seemed to avoid much explicitly bearish news lately, most factors have seemingly turned negative. China is changing its cotton pricing system and seems likely to draw down its massive stockpile, while the domestic industry reportedly wants to get its product out of warehouses. Moreover, current crop prospects look much improved from a few weeks ago. These developments probably explain the huge breakdown suffered recently. Still, a technical bounce seems rather likely in the days ahead. July cotton slipped 0.04 cents to 84.83 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while December cotton sank 0.27 to 77.45.


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