Ag markets proved generally mixed Wednesday night

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Corn moved mostly lower again Wednesday night. Old crop corn futures flattened overnight, possibly in anticipation of a supportive result on today’s weekly USDA Export Sales report. Meanwhile, new crop futures continued suffering from talk of great U.S. weather and rising global supplies. July corn stalled at $4.57/bushel early Thursday morning, while December slid 2.5 cents to $4.51.

The soy complex proved decidedly mixed again last night. Soybean oil futures reversed a portion of yesterday’s big rally as Asian palm prices declined, which probably boosted meal prices as crush margins shifted. Meanwhile, talk of weak demand is reportedly weighing on old crop beans, while new-crop prices proved surprisingly firm. July soybeans dipped 4.5 cents to $14.78/bushel soon after dawn Thursday, while July soyoil slumped 0.33 cents to 38.92 cents/pound, and July soymeal gained $0.1 to $496.6/ton.

Wheat futures are bucking their recent trend. Wheat futures rose Wednesday despite the improved U.S. growing conditions and bearish international fundamentals that had recently depressed prices. Traders saw more of the same overnight as the FAO boosted its estimate of global production. One has to suspect yesterday’s gains and the overnight follow-through are largely a technical reaction, with traders balancing positions ahead of the export data. July CBOT wheat futures rose 1.0 cent to $6.155/bushel Wednesday night, while July KCBT wheat added 2.75 cents to $7.1625 and July MWE futures ran up 5.25 cents to $6.9475.

Cattle traders seem to be expecting cash strength. Strong wholesale prices supported cattle futures early this week, since the beef gains suggested packers will pay up for fed cattle before the weekend. Beef cutouts declined Wednesday afternoon, but that didn’t keep futures from continuing recent gains. This suggests persistent cash market optimism. August cattle edged up 0.15 cents to 140.32 cents/pound in early Thursday action, while December advanced 0.27 cents to 147.10. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle crept up 0.17 cents to 198.95 cents/pound, but October slipped 0.05 to 199.87.

Hog futures proved surprisingly weak last night. Wednesday’s CME action was rather mixed, with expiring June futures sliding and the summer contracts seemingly anticipating a big early-summer resurgence. The afternoon cash and wholesale reports also looked quite supportive. However, Chicago prices declined significantly overnight, which seemingly bodes ill for today’s action. August hog futures tumbled 0.90 cents to 126.90 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while December skidded 0.30 to 93.97.

Cotton futures are following through on Wednesday’s reversal. The U.S. Commerce Department published its latest cotton export data yesterday, stating the April total far below year-ago levels. The idea that the old-crop situation isn’t as tight as previously thought rather clearly undercut ICE values. Moreover, the news truncated what had looked like the start of a technical advance and might have set the stage for a big follow-through to the downside. July cotton sank 0.18 cents to 85.90 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while December cotton stumbled 0.53 to 77.35.


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