Ag markets were decidedly mixed Thursday morning

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Despite the system that came through the Corn Belt Wednesday, it looks as if short-term weather conditions will remain highly conducive to accelerated corn plantings. That news is very likely weighing upon corn futures Thursday morning, although bears could also point to a disappointing result for new crop corn sales on the weekly USDA Export Sales report. July corn sank 7.25 cents to $6.435/bushel late Thursday morning, while December dropped 4.75 cents to $5.27.

The increased possibility that Corn Belt corn plantings will get done on time seemingly supported deferred soybean futures Thursday morning, whereas tight old crop conditions apparently sparked fresh buying of the nearby July future. Traders reacted little to the disappointing results of the weekly Export Sales report. July soybean futures climbed 14.75 cents to $14.2725/bushel around midsession Thursday, while July soyoil added 0.27 cents to 49.62 cents/pound, and July soybean meal gained $5.0 to $415.5/ton.

The weekly USDA Export Sales report had mixed implications for wheat futures. The old crop total, at 125,000 tonnes, bisected pre-report forecasts, whereas the new crop figure, at 415,700 tonnes topped expectations. Nevertheless, wheat futures moved generally lower Thursday morning, with only a slight rise in July MGE wheat deviating from the lower consensus. Corn weakness probably sparked some selling, but the bearish implications of the USDA WASDE report released last Friday seemed to dominate the outlook. July CBOT wheat futures dove 9.25 cents to $6.84075/bushel in Thursday morning trading, and July KCBT wheat fell 11.0 cents to $7.405, whereas July MGE futures advanced 0.75 cents to $8.045.

Cattle traders apparently remain generally pessimistic about the 2013 outlook, since all four remaining contracts continue trading below current cash values. Short-term bearishness is likely justified, since summer prices traditionally remain below those seen during spring, but the gloom anticipated during autumn marks a departure from the attitude of the past few years. It may take surprising cash strength to encourage sustained buying. June cattle edged 0.07 cents lower to 119.92 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while December skidded 0.07 124.40. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures dipped 0.45 cents to 144.85 cents/pound, while November sank 0.40 cents to 150.12.

After declining in concert with fed cattle Wednesday, CME lean hog futures rebounded strongly Thursday morning. Persistent cash firmness and possible anticipation of more of the same may have sparked some buying, but the main drive of the advance most likely came from the wholesale market. That is, the large Wednesday afternoon surge in pork values probably powered the Chicago market higher. June hog futures rallied 1.20 cents to 93.12 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while December futures added 0.70 cents to 77.80.

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