Ag markets posted divergent moves Thursday.
Crop futures extended Wednesday’s losses Thursday. Anticipation of a huge U.S. corn crop heightened Wednesday, thereby triggering a drop to fresh lows. The drop resumed today, despite early news of a sizeable corn sale to an unknown destination. December corn futures settled 5.5 cents lower at $3.465/bushel Thursday, while May dropped 5.5 to $3.6825.
The soy complex proved quite mixed. Wednesday’s soy action wasn’t encouraging either, since all signs point to a massive U.S. harvest this fall. Bulls took some comfort from the fact that bean futures bounced from Wednesday’s lows and from overnight palm oil gains. However, as in the corn pit, beans and meal continued their breakdown as the day progressed. November soybean futures fell 16.75 cents to $10.0375/bushel as CBOT trading ended Thursday, while October soyoil rallied 0.24 cents to 32.00 cents/pound, and October soymeal tumbled $12.9 to $350.9/ton.
Trading in the wheat markets seemed confused Thursday. The easing of tensions in the Ukraine undercut wheat futures Wednesday, with the weakness persisting in CBOT prices today. Traders still worry about the Black Sea situation, but that wasn’t very apparent. The KC market traded consistently higher, which may have resulted from widespread short-covering. December CBOT wheat dipped 5.5 cents to $5.3025/bushel at Thursday’s close, while December KC wheat advanced 3.5 cents to $6.2025/bushel, and December MWE wheat sagged 2.25 to $6.08.
Cattle futures diverged Thursday. Talk of rising packers bids spurred big early gains posted in live cattle futures this morning. The nearby October contract remained quite strong, but deferred futures reversed and had moved mostly lower later in the day. Wire service sources cited widespread profit-taking by bulls. October live cattle futures jumped 1.62 cents to 157.05 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, while December futures added 0.50 to 158.50. Meanwhile, October feeder futures gained 0.22 cents to 222.00 cents/pound but January feeders slid 0.10 to 215.22.
CME hogs followed the cattle market’s lead. Talk of short-term cash strength apparently spurred continued strength in nearby October hog futures Thursday. However, long liquidation and talk of increased 2015 production seemed to undercut the deferred contracts. October hogs ended Thursday having soared 1.55 cents to 102.65 cents/pound, while December stumbled 0.65 to 92.45.
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