Ag markets proved generally weak Thursday

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Corn futures declined modestly Thursday. There was little fresh news, so traders seemed to fall back upon the simple fact that US farmers are wrapping up a record corn harvest, as well as persistent talk that the EPA will cut the ethanol mandate next year. December corn futures slid 3.25 cents to $4.265/bushel at Thursday’s close, while May dipped 3.75 to $4.45.

The soy complex traded uncertainly again today. Traders remain concerned about the Asian palm oil situation, so they continued buying soyoil futures Thursday. However, plentiful post-harvest soybean supplies are seemingly limiting the upside potential of beans and meal. Transportation and technical issues may also be limiting rally attempts. January soybean futures settled 1.5 cents lower at $13.135/bushel Thursday afternoon, while December soyoil gained 0.01 cent to 40.97 cents/pound, and December soymeal crept up $1.3 to $424.6/ton.

Egyptian news depressed the wheat markets. Recent wheat export totals have been unimpressive, but the resulting price decline has seemingly rendered US wheat more competitive on the global market. Early Thursday gains marked a response to news of a sizeable sale to Brazil. However, U.S. wheat was shut out of a large Egyptian tender, thereby sparking late futures sales. December CBOT wheat futures slumped 0.75 cent to $6.4475/bushel in late Thursday trading, while December KCBT wheat futures inched up 1.0 cent to $7.03, while December MWE futures added 0.5 to $7.00.

Cattle futures responded weakly to rising beef prices. Bullish traders have seemingly been hoping that higher beef prices will spark cattle price gains in the country and in Chicago this week. Futures did rise modestly Thursday, but those had to disappoint bulls after choice cutout had jumped 1.26 cents at midday. December cattle futures settled 0.22 cents higher at 132.97 cents/pound Thursday, while April futures rose 0.12 to 134.95. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle surged 0.55 cents to 165.20 cents/pound, and March feeders gained 0.55 cents to 164.90.

Wednesday’s large pork losses undercut hog futures. Hog weights have soared lately, thereby suggesting market-ready supplies are more liquid than previously thought. And while the cash markets have seemingly stabilized, Wednesday afternoon reports indicated big pork losses, which sent CME futures sharply lower in early trading. Firmer noon quotes probably limited the damage. December hog futures dove 0.77 cents to 85.60 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, while April tumbled 0.55 to 92.10.

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