After proving quite stable Wednesday night, corn futures turned lower Thursday. The weekly Export Sales report may have sparked the slide, since both the old and new crop sales figures fell somewhat short of expectations. However, wire service sources cited forecasts for benign growing weather over the Corn Belt for the bulk of the decline. July corn futures fell 7.25 cents to $6.435/bushel by the Thursday afternoon close, while December dipped 2.25 cent to $5.3525.
The weekly Export Sales report probably exerted little influence over soybean futures Thursday morning. The numbers only slightly deviated from mean forecasts, so traders seemingly paid little attention to the data. Sources actually cited profit-taking by formerly bullish traders for the decline. We would also highlight forecasts for fine Corn Belt weather later this month, which could help the freshly seeded crop get off to a good start. July soybean futures plunged 30.5 cents to $15.1025/bushel at its Thursday settlement, while July soyoil dropped 0.27 cents to 47.84 cents/pound, and July soybean meal dove $8.8 to $452.6/ton.
In contrast to the losses suffered by corn and soybeans, wheat futures staged a significant rebound from midmorning lows. The weekly Export Sales report seemingly had little price impact. Spring wheat futures led the way higher, which may indicate traders are worrying about farmer ability to complete North Dakota plantings in a timely manner. Wire service reports suggested bargain-hunting had pushed the winter wheat contracts higher. July CBOT wheat futures closed 2.5 cents higher at $6.855/bushel Thursday, while July KCBT wheat rose 2.0 cents to $7.185, and July MGE futures gained 5.75 cents to $8.12.
The modest bounce posted by live cattle futures in early morning trading did not last long. Traders apparently refocused upon the ongoing seasonal decline in cash and wholesale values, seemingly thinking greatly elevated beef costs and seasonally large production will keep the complex under downward pressure through early summer. August cattle settled 0.45 cents lower at 119.07 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December declined 0.15 cents to 125.42. August feeder cattle futures skidded 0.45 cents to 145.47 cents/pound, and November sank 0.22 cents to 151.15.
The expiring June hog contract continued its closing surge Thursday, but the deferred contracts declined somewhat. Ideas that supplies will become increasingly plentiful after Independence Day, as well as the fact that pork demand tends to diminish after the holiday, may have undercut bullish momentum. July hog futures slumped 0.52 cents to 98.65 cents/pound late Thursday, while December edged 0.05 cents downward to 81.60.