Crop futures mostly higher, livestock prices stabilizing

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Corn futures rose in concert with beans and wheat Thursday morning. The weekly USDA Export Sales report provided no surprises for corn traders, which seemingly left them open to following the bean and wheat markets higher. Ultimately, talk of strong demand seems to be supporting the crop markets at this juncture. September corn edged up 3.0 cents to $3.625/bushel late Thursday morning, while December added 1.25 to $3.6875.

The export data looked supportive of the soy complex. This morning’s Export Sales numbers were mixed, as exemplified by a drop in old-crop bean commitments and huge new-crop sales figure. Old crop meal sales seemed supportive, but much less so for new crop. Old crop oil sales also impressed. Thus, traders are once again reacting to ideas of vigorous soy demand despite the looming harvest record. September soybean futures climbed 12.25 cents to $11.32/bushel shortly before midday Thursday, while November futures gained 5.5 cents to $10.4325. September soyoil rose 0.17 cents to 33.03 cents/pound, and September soymeal ran up $7.2 to $409.8/ton.

Reduced Canadian production appears to be boosting wheat prices. Today’s wheat export sales totals were rather disappointing, but traders probably ignored, since Canada published its latest production estimates at the same time. STATS Canada estimated the wheat harvest at 27.7 million tonnes, modestly below forecasts averaging 28.5 mmt. Having the Minneapolis market lead the way higher was no surprise. September CBOT wheat advanced 7.25 cents to $5.4675/bushel around midsession Thursday, while September KC wheat lifted 3.25 cents to $6.22/bushel, and September MWE wheat surged 6.5 to $6.1675.

Cattle futures stabilized at lower levels Thursday morning. News of Wednesday afternoon cash and wholesale weakness kept selling pressure upon cattle futures in overnight trading. Country trading around Wednesday’s late levels discouraged bulls, but bears also seem unable to force CME prices to fresh summer lows. October live cattle futures dipped 0.22 cents to 145.17 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while December futures slid 0.42 to 148.02 cents/pound. Meanwhile, September feeder futures plunged 2.05 cents to 209.20 and November futures plummeted 2.35 to 207.20.

The hog market trying to bottom. Although cash hog prices reportedly weakened again this morning, pork cutout values posted a moderate rise. That news, along with oversold technical conditions sparked a swine futures bounce from early lows. Whether bulls can build upon that remains to be seen. October hogs skidded 0.12 cents to 92.37 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Thursday, while December sank 0.20 cents to 86.22.

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