Ag markets posted divergent showings again Thursday morning

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Corn futures declined modestly Thursday morning. There was little fresh news, so traders seemed to fall back upon the most obvious factor affecting the market at this point; US farmers are wrapping up a record corn harvest, which means corn is very plentiful at this point. December corn futures slid 1.25 cents to $4.285/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May dipped 2.25 to $4.465.

The soy complex is trading uncertainly again today. Traders remain concerned about the Asian palm oil situation, so they continued buying soyoil futures Thursday morning. However, plentiful post-harvest soybean supplies are seemingly limiting the upside potential of beans and meal. Transportation and technical issues may also be weighing upon the soy complex. January soybean futures slipped 0.5 cent to $13.145/bushel in Thursday morning trading, while December soyoil gained 0.19 cents to 41.15 cents/pound, and December soymeal lost $0.8 to $422.5/ton.

Talk of improving export demand seemingly is boosting the wheat markets. Recent wheat export totals have been unimpressive, but the resulting price decline has apparently rendered US wheat more competitive on the global market. Late news of a sizeable sale to Brazil and the forthcoming result of large Egyptian tender are encouraging buying as a consequence. December CBOT wheat futures rallied 2.5 cents to $6.48/bushel around lunchtime Thursday, while December KCBT wheat futures advanced 3.5 cents to $7.055, while December MWE futures added 2.25 to $7.0175.

Firming beef prices seemingly sparked this morning’s cattle advance. Cattlemen are hoping for a fresh cash price increase today or tomorrow, but early-week wholesale slippage discouraged those ideas. However, choice cutout values posted a moderate gain Wednesday afternoon, which have apparently renewed bullish hopes. December cattle futures rallied 0.27 cents to 133.02 cents/pound by late Thursday morning, while April futures rose 0.12 to 134.95. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle surged 0.67 cents to 165.32 cents/pound, and March feeders gained 0.67 cents to 165.02.

Diving pork prices are undercutting hog futures. Hog weights have soared lately, thereby suggesting market-ready supplies are more liquid than previously thought. And while the cash markets firmed Wednesday, afternoon reports indicated a big drop in pork prices; that doesn’t bode well for the short-term outlook. December hog futures dove 0.95 cents to 85.42 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while April tumbled 0.72 to 91.92.

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