Ag markets were decidedly mixed again Thursday morning

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Weather forecasts are again weighing on corn prices. Although corn futures followed the bean market higher yesterday, bulls couldn’t sustain the upward momentum despite signs of potential technical support. Ultimately, favorable spring weather is pointing to a good fall harvest, which in turn is weighing on prices. July corn slumped 4.5 cents to $4.68/bushel late Thursday morning, and December lost 4.0 cents to $4.655.

The soy complex remained slightly higher Thursday morning. Wednesday’s news of sizeable bean sales seemed to sustain soybean and meal gains through the overnight session. Asian palm oil weakness is once again depressing the oil market, which is probably weighing on beans somewhat. Strong demand is apparently the dominant soy factor at this juncture. July soybeans gained 3.0 cents to $15.0075/bushel in late Thursday morning action, while July soyoil tumbled 0.21 cents to 39.42 cents/pound, and July soymeal added $0.5 to $499.0/ton.

The wheat markets also failed to sustain upward momentum. Reminders of the relatively poor nature of the U.S. winter wheat crop and ‘oversold’ technical readings on the futures charts sparked a Wednesday-night wheat bounce. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the move, with exchange prices reversing lower by late morning. Wire service reports blamed ongoing rainfall for the losses. July CBOT wheat futures fell 7.5 cents to $6.3125/bushel around midsession Thursday, while July KCBT wheat lost 7.0 cents to $7.29, and July MWE futures sagged 4.25 cents to $7.1375.

This week’s modest cash losses have apparently triggered CME cattle buying. Although cash cattle traded mostly $1-$2 lower at $143/cwt earlier this week, CME futures have turned decidedly higher. Persistent beef strength is probably playing a role in the surge, but it’s rather clear that traders were looking for larger cash losses. June cattle surged 1.85 cents to 138.00 cents/pound as lunchtime loomed Thursday, while December jumped 1.30 cents to 146.00. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle leapt 1.92 cents to 197.50 cents/pound, and October soared 1.85 to 198.50.

Weak midsession quotes are undercutting hog futures. Hog futures bounced overnight in response to afternoon report of stable cash hog values and a big bounce in pork cutouts. However, today’s late-morning updates reversed those gains, which translated quickly into sizeable Chicago losses. June hog futures dove 0.95 cents to 113.60 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while December sank 0.67 to 94.32.

Cotton futures appear to be posting a technical bounce. Recent bearish developments have sent cotton futures, particularly the new-crop contracts sharply lower. The fact that they had reached technically oversold levels seemingly set the stage for today’s early bounce, particularly with concurrent equity strength and U.S. dollar weakness favoring forthcoming demand. July cotton bounced 1.10 cents to 85.97 cents/pound shortly before noon (EDT) Thursday, while December cotton climbed 0.53 to 78.25.


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