Ag markets proved widely mixed Thursday morning

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Soy gains may have boosted corn futures Thursday morning. The weekly Export Sales report stated last week’s corn result well above forecasts. Bulls could also point to strength spilling over from the soybean pit, where bullish news is boosting the nearby contracts. December corn futures rose 0.75 cent to $4.22/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while May added 1.5 cents to $4.41.

Export news and a strong stopper of November bean deliveries boosted soy values. The weekly Export Sales report held few surprises, but CBOT traders were probably encouraged by early Thursday morning news of a 250,000-tonne soybean sale to China. News that a major commercial firm had taken initial deliveries against the expiring November contract seemed bullish as well. In contrast, news that the FDA may regulate trans fats, as in soybean oil, undercut that market rather badly. January soybean futures climbed 9.0 cents to $12.64/bushel late Thursday morning, while December soyoil dove 0.80 cents to 40.34 cents/pound, and December soymeal surged $7.7 to $404.5/ton.

The wheat markets were mixed late Thursday morning. The weekly Export Sales report seemed neutral for wheat prices, since the result essentially split the range of pre-report estimates. The Chicago market appeared to follow corn and beans higher, but Kansas City and Minneapolis prices slipped. December CBOT wheat futures rallied 3.25 cents to $6.565/bushel around midsession Thursday, whereas December KCBT wheat futures slid 0.75 cent to $7.1575, and December MWE futures skidded 1.25 to $7.11.

Cattle traders apparently expect flat cash market results this week. Although history suggests cash cattle and wholesale strength early in most months, this week’s beef slippage, especially in choice cutout, hasn’t been helpful to the bullish cause. Traders reportedly expect steady-weak cash trading as a result, thereby causing cattle futures to struggle. December cattle futures declined 0.07 cents to 131.95 cents/pound just before the lunch hour Thursday, while April futures slumped 0.12 to 134.10. January feeder cattle sank 0.10 cents to 165.45 cents/pound, while March feeders lost 0.22 cents to 165.15.

Nearby hog futures firmed in early Thursday trading. Although surging hog weights have given rise to talk of increasing supplies over the short run, CME swine futures rose moderately this morning. We suspect knowledgeable traders have concluded that this week’s kill will again fall short of last year’s result. December hog futures advanced 0.50 cents at 87.85 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while April ran up 0.35 to 93.20.

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