Corn futures were virtually unchanged Wednesday night. The yellow grain market looked set to continue yesterday’s late-session slide in overnight action, but turned back toward unchanged levels in the early morning hours. A general lack of news suggests technical factors, particularly the December contract’s position just above its 10-day average, sparked the bounce. Traders are likely awaiting the weekly Export Sales report. December corn futures slipped 0.25 cent to $3.5275/bushel early Thursday morning, while May lost 0.25 to $3.76.
The soy complex proved decidedly mixed overnight. As with corn, there was little actual soybean news Wednesday night. The fact that yesterday’s reversal seemed to represent a failure at its pivotal 40-day moving average is probably weighing on beans and meal. Meanwhile, crude and palm oil prices rose last night, thereby giving oil futures a boost. November soybean futures edged 1.0 cent lower to $9.6175/bushel, while December soyoil climbed 0.24 cents to 32.38 cents/pound, and December soymeal inched down $0.7 to $337.3/ton.
Wheat markets moved mostly higher. Wheat traders were also hurting for news last night, but seemed to settle for modest gains in early-morning action. The Chicago and Minneapolis markets posted unanimous gains, but KC prices were lower. As in the other pits, traders will look to the export report for direction. December CBOT wheat gained 1.5 cents to $5.2375/bushel Wednesday night, while December KC wheat skidded 1.5 cents to $6.0375/bushel, and December MWE wheat rallied 2.5 to $5.7125.
Beef strength continues supporting cattle futures. It’s quite common for beef prices to dip in late October as grocers turn their attention to hams and turkeys for Thanksgiving. The fact that beef values have risen modestly this week is likely encouraging bulls in the cattle pit. December live cattle futures advanced 0.22 cents to 168.32 cents/pound Thursday dawned over Chicago, while April futures climbed 0.15 to 165.92. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle futures vaulted 1.00 cent to 236.17 cents/pound and January feeders surged 0.90 cents to 230.17.
Seasonal weakness is again weighing on hog prices. Ideas that modest hog weight gains implied limited supplies seemed to boost CME futures Wednesday. However, recent cash and wholesale news has been uniformly bad, so bulls couldn’t sustain yesterday’s rally. December hog futures slid 0.35 cents to 89.40 cents/pound in early Thursday trading, while April hogs slumped 0.55 to 88.75.
Cotton futures are struggling against MA resistance. The cotton market is also suffering from a dearth of substantive news at this point, so traders are likely looking forward to this morning’s USDA reports as well. Prices declined Wednesday night, with the nearby contracts repeating their recent pattern of failing to overcome resistance associated with the short-term moving averages. December cotton futures dipped 0.34 cents to 62.34 cents/pound shortly after dawn Thursday, while March futures sank 0.32 cents to 61.60.