Ag markets proved surprisingly volatile Thursday
Several factors seemed to undercut corn prices Thursday. Forecasts for improved rainfall in mid-September seemed to depress the grain and soy complexes Thursday morning, while corn traders were apparently reacting to the looming start of the Midwest harvest and the resulting supply surge. A technical breakdown probably attracted additional selling. December corn dove 8.5 cents to $4.61/bushel in late Thursday trading, while July fell 8.25 cents to $4.8875.
Soybeans and meal posted an impressive surge Thursday afternoon. Improving precipitation prospects for mid-September seemed to weigh upon the CBOT soy complex Thursday morning. However, it seems rather likely that the current soybean crop will have been irreparably damaged by that point, so the rain may do little to boost production. Those considerations probably powered the late bounce. Strong demand may also be supporting the nearby bean and meal contracts. November soybeans leapt 15.00 cents to $13.675/bushel at Thursday’s close, whereas October soyoil sank 0.37 cents to 43.26 cents/pound, and October soymeal climbed $6.6 to $434.6/ton.
Wheat futures declined in concert with corn in Thursday action. There was little news pertinent to the wheat markets, which seemed to cause traders to track shifts in the corn pit. The fact that recent dryness has allowed the industry to make huge strides in the wheat harvest may also be undercutting prices. December CBOT wheat dropped 6.0 cents to $6.4025/bushel as trading wound down Thursday, while December KCBT wheat slid 8.75 cents lower to $6.8925 and December MGE futures tanked 10.75 cents to $7.1125.
Cattle futures continued their late decline Thursday. Beef prices dipped at noon Thursday, which contradicted ideas that rising cash and wholesale values will power a seasonal cattle/beef price advance during the days and weeks ahead. Traders are now concerned about the potential for another cash market decline this week. October cattle futures closed 0.77 cents lower at 125.22 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December slumped 0.77 cents to 129.12. October feeder cattle dipped 0.45 cents to 158.80 cents/pound, and January lost 0.37 cents to 158.27.
Hog futures couldn’t sustain their early Thursday highs. Both the cash and wholesale markets have proven quite strong lately, so traders hope recent slaughter reductions and firm post-Labor Day demand will power a sizeable September rally. However, midday reports indicated sharp country and pork market losses, which undercut nearby futures rather badly. October hog futures settled just 0.27 cents higher at 89.40 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, and December added 0.07 cents to 85.92.