Corn futures built on recent gains Wednesday night. Recent weather news has supported new crop corn price prospects, since late-April conditions look less than conducive to accelerated plantings. Meanwhile, old-crop demand appears persistently robust. Traders are seemingly expecting a sizeable result on the Export Sales report again today. May corn rose 2.25 cents to $5.0575/bushel early Thursday morning, while December inched up 2.25 to $5.0675.
The soy complex moved mostly lower in early Thursday trading. The soy industry apparently thinks the old-crop situation will ease as Chinese traders default on previous purchases and South American beans flow into the U.S. Deferred futures slipped more significantly overnight, which may reflect suspicions that delayed corn plantings will boost acreage planted to beans. May soybeans dipped 0.25 cent to $14.6825/bushel as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while May soyoil sank 0.16 cents to 42.34 cents/pound, but May soymeal edged up $1.4 to $479.5/ton.
Technicians may be buying the wheat markets. Little fresh wheat news emerged Wednesday night, but it’s probably safe to say that the simmering Black Sea situation is providing background support for wheat prices. Fundamentally-driven bulls may also have been joined by technical traders overnight, since the various golden grain contracts are trading just above major moving average support. May CBOT wheat futures advanced 11.0 cents to $6.875/bushel in early Thursday action, while May KCBT wheat futures gained 9.25 cents to $7.55, and May MWE futures moved up 5.75 to $7.30.
Cattle futures are beginning Thursday rather weakly. Wholesale strength and discounts built into live cattle futures seem likely to offer support for the Chicago market. However, futures have persistently struggled lately, with a well-defined downtrend in place. Prices dipped again last night after failing at 10-day MA resistance Wednesday. June cattle futures declined 0.15 cents to 134.95 cents/pound around dawn Thursday, while December slumped 0.25 cents to 140.47. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle gained 0.25 cents to 178.87 cents/pound, and August added 0.17 to 182.62.
Disappointing Wednesday afternoon reports may be weighing on hog futures. The hog market rallied sharply yesterday, as strong midsession cash and wholesale reports and a technical breakout sparked big fund purchases. However, the more definitive afternoon reports from the USDA were much less supportive, thereby causing an overnight pullback. June hog futures stumbled 0.27 cents lower to 125.97 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December skidded 0.12 to 90.90.
The cotton market continues trading in mixed fashion. ICE traders appear to be reacting to relative old-crop cotton tightness and the latest weather news affecting likely spring plantings. Delivery issues may have weighed on the expiring May future Wednesday night, whereas deferred futures rose modestly. May cotton slid 0.43 cents to 92.47 cents/pound just after sunrise (EDT) Thursday, while December cotton lifted 0.12 to 82.48.