Ag markets were narrowly mixed Thursday night
News that China had rejected more U.S. corn undercut futures last night. Corn traders have rather obviously worried about the wider impact of repeated Chinese rejections of American grain due to contamination with an unapproved GMO strain. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see CBOT futures dip in response to news of another rejection Thursday night. March corn futures declined 2.0 cents to $4.285/bushel early Friday morning, while May slumped 1.75 cents to $4.3675.
The soy complex sustained Thursday’s modest rise. Little fresh news concerning soybeans and products emerged overnight. Continued Asian palm strength supported soyoil prices, but couldn’t prevent them from slipping marginally. Meanwhile, yesterday’s bean and meal bounces from short-term moving average support seemed to spur additional buying this morning. January soybeans gained 0.5 cent to $13.275/bushel in pre-dawn Friday action, while January soyoil inched down 0.01 cent to 39.32 cents/pound, and January soymeal added $0.3 to $442.4/ton.
The wheat markets continued their recent decline. Wheat traders also suffered from a lack of substantive news Thursday night, so they had little reason to buy actively. That seemed especially true after Thursday’s Argentine news added to the bearish atmosphere. Nearby futures are technically oversold, but a price rebound will probably require a trigger of some sort. March CBOT wheat futures slid 3.0 cents to $6.0775/bushel in early Friday trading, while March KCBT wheat futures slipped 1.0 cent to $6.5175, and March MWE futures lost 1.25 to $6.45.
Cash firmness seemed to provide sustained cattle support last night. After dipping in response to Nebraska cash weakness Wednesday, cattle futures rallied in reaction to firmer Southern Plains quotes yesterday. CME prices continued rising overnight despite mixed wholesale quotes posted Thursday afternoon. February cattle futures advanced 0.15 cents to 133.12 cents/pound as Friday dawned over Chicago, while April futures crept 0.05 cents higher to 134.12. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle futures fell 0.25 cents to 166.55 cents/pound and March sank 0.22 to 166.32.
Thursday afternoon news depressed hog prices. The hog/pork industry has been anticipating the onset of a seasonal rebound from annual lows lately. However, big cash and wholesale losses posted late yesterday strongly suggested those lows have yet to be reached. February hog futures sagged 0.20 cents to 86.17 cents/pound early Friday morning, and June dropped 0.35 to 99.80.
Cotton futures were mixed around Thursday’s late highs. As with the grain and soy complex, there was little overnight news concerning cotton. As a consequence, after rallying modestly in apparent response to supportive export news Thursday, nearby futures seemed somewhat vulnerable to a setback this morning. The market still seems to be stuck at a pivotal point on the charts. March cotton rallied 0.04 cents to 83.37 cents/pound just after the sun rose over New York Friday, while July cotton dipped 0.12 cent to 82.64.