Ag markets remained mixed at midsession Thursday

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The USDA’s Export Sales report discouraged corn traders. The weekly export sales report indicated a disappointing total for old crop corn sales, although the new crop total easily topped forecasts. The former apparently grabbed the attention of traders, as indicated by subsequent CBOT weakness. September corn dropped 3.75 cents to $3.58/bushel in late Thursday morning trading, while December lost 3.5 cents to $3.68.

The export data seemingly confirmed bullish soy expectations. The Export Sales report stated bean and meal totals in the upper end of or above trade forecasts. That probably explains the general CBOT strength as well as the old-crop leadership across the soy complex. The oil bounce in the face of overnight palm weakness is rather impressive. August soybean futures surged 7.5 cents to $12.28/bushel by midsession Thursday, while November futures rose 4.25 cents to $10.855. August soyoil bounced 0.16 cents to 36.21 cents/pound and August soymeal climbed $4.5 to $392.1/ton.

The wheat markets are trading in narrowly mixed fashion. Wheat futures sagged on favorable weather news Wednesday night, but firmed after the Export Sales report posted a new-crop total well above expectations. Prices at the various exchanges were decidedly mixed at midday. September CBOT wheat had inched up 1.0 cent to $5.2825/bushel late Thursday morning, while September KC wheat rebounded 3.75 cents to $6.2075/bushel, and September MWE wheat stumbled 1.5 cents to $6.1125.

Outside factors apparently triggered the Thursday-morning break in cattle futures. There was little indication of weakness in the cash cattle or beef markets this morning, but that didn’t stop CME futures from dropping sharply as the morning passed. Wire service sources blamed active profit taking and outside factors such as the combination of equity market weakness and dollar strength for spurring the selling. August live cattle dove 1.55 cents to 158.30 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while December plunged 1.90 cents to 158.02. Meanwhile, August feeder futures plummeted 2.10 cents to 220.92 cents/pound, and October feeders crashed 2.72 to 221.30.

Hog futures bounced from early lows. Hog traders have anticipated big seasonal losses during the days and weeks ahead, but traders apparently decided that today’s early losses were overdone, since they brought CME prices back to modestly higher levels in late-morning action. August hog futures rallied 0.32 cents to 119.47 cents/pound, while December advanced 0.70 cents to 95.15.

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