The corn market reverted to the downside Wednesday night. Hot, dry weather forecasts have boosted corn prices in mid-August, but the preliminary results of a big crop tour this week suggest corn yields will top the latest USDA forecast. Technical resistance is also proving quite robust. September corn sank 4.25 cents to $4.9375/bushel early Thursday morning, while December dropped 7.0 cents to $4.7625.
Soybean and meal futures proved surprisingly weak overnight. Wire service reports cited technical resistance and profit-taking for the slide. Whatever the reason, the fact that futures declined despite disappointing crop tour results for Iowa and Illinois may bode rather ill for short-term prospects. Asian palm oil gains apparently boosted soyoil futures. September soybeans fell 8.25 cents to $13.2475/bushel in early Thursday trading, and November beans dove 18.5 to $12.895. September soyoil edged 0.10 cents higher to 42.92 cents/pound, whereas September soymeal dipped $5.0 to $416.5/ton.
Wheat futures declined in concert with the corn and soybean markets Thursday morning. The bearish implications of huge fall harvests seemed to drag wheat down in concert with the other crop markets in early Thursday action. The bullish cause wasn’t helped by large crop forecasts out of Canada Wednesday and from Germany this morning. September CBOT wheat sagged 4.25 cents to $6.345/bushel around dawn Thursday, while September KCBT wheat slipped 2.0 cents to $6.975, and September MGE futures slid 3.75 cents to $7.25.
Cattle futures suffered another bout of weakness in early trading. CME traders remain generally optimistic about the short-term cash outlook and about intermediate-term prospects as well. However, the market has an historical pattern of late-August wholesale weakness, thereby seemingly reflecting the completion of pre-Labor Day buying by grocers. Thus, Wednesday afternoon beef losses probably caused overnight slippage. October cattle futures skidded 0.05 cents to 127.92 cents/pound in early Thursday action, while December sagged 0.17 cents to 130.30. September feeder cattle futures climbed 0.42 cents to 158.12 cents/pound, and November added 0.15 to 160.45.
Cash and wholesale losses are pushing CME hog futures lower as well. Discounted CME hog prices indicate the industry is expecting large seasonal losses at the cash and wholesale levels through late summer and fall. Nevertheless, Wednesday afternoon news confirming substantial declines weighed upon the Chicago market overnight. October hog futures tumbled 0.52 cents to 85.30 cents/pound just after sunrise Thursday, while December fell 0.40 cents to 82.22.
The cotton market rebounded from massive losses earlier this week. Bearish developments sparked huge losses in ICE cotton futures Tuesday and Wednesday. However, those left prices on a par with their July quotes, so it was not terribly surprising to see futures rebound somewhat overnight. The weekly Export Sales report will probably set the tone for the balance of today’s trading. December cotton futures bounced 0.60 cents to 84.84 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while March gained 0.67 cents to 84.01.