Ag markets were mostly higher Thursday morning

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Corn futures rose modestly Thursday morning. After declining over the five previous sessions, corn futures bounced in overnight action. Old crop tightness seemed to support the nearby September future, but deferred contracts apparently suffered from fresh selling in reaction to favorable new crop conditions. September corn gained 5.25cents to $4.735/bushel around midsession Thursday, while December edged up 3.0 cents to $4.6125.

The soy complex also rallied in early Thursday action. As with corn, old crop tightness seemed to support nearby futures. The new crop contracts also rose, with optimism about the export outlook apparently playing a substantial role in the bean and meal gains. Oil prices moved slightly higher, although ongoing industry crushing of beans for meal is probably undercutting vegetable oil values to some extent. September soybeans jumped 23.0 cents to $12.22/bushel late Thursday morning, while November beans surged 17.25 cents to $11.83. September soyoil added 0.11 cents to 41.85 cents/pound, while September soymeal advanced $13.2 to $390.2/ton.

Wheat futures proved unable to sustain their Wednesday night bounce. After bouncing also with corn and beans in overnight action, the golden grain markets generally dipped to fresh lows in early Thursday trading. Prospects for larger U.S. crops this fall, as well as the ongoing shutout of U.S. sellers by cheaper international competitors appear to be undercutting prices. September CBOT wheat slipped 2.5 cents to $6.41/bushel just before midday Thursday, whereas September KCBT wheat bucked the downward trend by rising 3.25 cents to $7.0225; September MGE futures slid 1.25 cents to $7.35.

Cattle futures backed away from overnight highs. Cattle prices leapt in response to news that Tyson foods will not accept slaughter cattle fed the feed additive Zilmax after September 6 due to lameness problems. However, questions about the extent of the ban and whether other packers would follow suit apparently caused a Thursday-morning setback. October cattle were trading ‘just’ 1.82 cents higher at 126.50 cents/pound by late Thursday morning, while December had set back to 128.52, up 1.30 cents on the day. September feeder cattle futures advanced 1.02 cents to 157.40 cents/pound, and November had inched up 0.22 cents to 159.75.

Lean hog futures traded firmly Thursday morning. Hog futures followed the cattle market higher overnight, with traders apparently thinking a cattle surge would exaggerate the strength exhibited by the cash and wholesale markets lately. The subsequent setback toward unchanged levels suggests diminished confidence. October hog futures ascended 0.20 cents to 85.12 around lunchtime Thursday, while December ran up 0.35 cents to 82.02.

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