After fluctuating wildly in the wake of the WASDE report, corn futures rallied Wednesday afternoon. However, prices were decidedly mixed overnight. Some interests were most impressed by the sizeable upward revision to global ending stocks estimates by the USDA. Talk that recent price declines will spark fresh international business seemed to boost the old crop contracts. May corn rose 5.75 cents to $6.5475/bushel early Thursday morning, while December slipped 1.0 cents to $5.42.
Soybean futures declined in reaction to the WASDE report Wednesday, then continued sliding Wednesday night. As in the other markets, the predicted increase in global carryout at the end of the current crop year seemed to overrule most other considerations. The ongoing South American harvest and the huge production resulting from it seem likely to persistently limit the upside potential enjoyed by the soy complex. May soybeans slid 3.75 cents to $13.89/bushel in pre-dawn Thursday trading, while May soyoil fell 0.21 cents to 49.82 cents/pound, and May meal edged $0.9 lower to $392.0/ton.
Wheat futures suffered significant losses after the USDA also made a substantial upward revision to its forecast for ending 2012/13 global wheat stocks. However, golden grain prices bounced overnight in apparent response to ideas that the lower prices would trigger fresh buying on the international markets. We also have to wonder if the big storm tracking across the Midwest damaged the winter wheat crop, since the Kansas City market led the way higher overnight. May CBOT wheat futures bounced 4.5 cents to $7.0125/bushel in early-Thursday trading, while May KCBT wheat climbed 7.75 cents to $7.3775, and May MGE futures added 2.75 cents to $7.8725.
Cattle futures turned sharply lower after country prices had dipped one cent/pound to the 127.00 cent/pound area late Wednesday morning. Prices were mixed overnight despite afternoon news of significant wholesale losses as well. Traders may simply think the bearish CME reaction to the cash news was overdone. June cattle rose 0.25 cents to 120.25 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December dipped 0.17 cents to 126.47. May feeder cattle futures fell another 0.87 cents to 141.45 cents/pound overnight, and August sank 0.65 cents to 148.52.
Ongoing cash firmness seemed to boost hog futures again Wednesday. However, the afternoon mandatory pork report indicated a sizeable gain for a second consecutive day, which apparently boosted nearby futures overnight. The lightly traded May hog contract inched 0.10 cents higher to 87.65 cents/pound in early Thursday morning electronic trading, while the June contract gained 0.27 cents to 89.77.
The WASDE report seemed to meet most expectations Wednesday, but news that the modest increase in global stocks was actually smaller than that projected for China ultimately boosted prices. In fact, the Chinese Cotton Association stated overnight that the Asian giant will continue its stockpiling program this fall, which sent prices even higher. The gains seem likely to be sustained during the Thursday ICE session. May cotton climbed 0.46 cents to 85.83 cents/pound in overnight trading, while December surged 0.54 cents to 87.11.