EPA news sank corn futures Thursday. Although the big stock market surge seemed very supportive of the commodity sector, corn futures proved unable to sustain early gains. Ongoing harvest pressure was apparently exaggerated by talk that the EPA will bow to the reality of the blend wall and cut the 2014 ethanol production mandate. That would limit corn demand. December corn futures fell 5.25 cents to $4.3825/bushel at Thursday’s close, while May lost 5.25 cents to $4.595.
The soy complex turned mixed as Thursday passed. Talk of strong global demand for soybeans boosted prices in early trading, as did concurrent equity strength. However, beans backed away from early highs and meal turned mostly lower. Rumors of a cut to the ethanol mandate and the resulting corn reversal probably undercut the soy complex as well. November soybeans closed 0.25 cent higher at $12.88/bushel Thursday, while December soyoil surged 0.55 cents to 41.22 cents/pound, but December soymeal dipped $2.1 to $409.6/ton.
Wheat futures also suffered from spillover corn weakness. Thursday’s corn reversal apparently weighed rather heavily upon wheat prices as well. In addition, bears may have been reacting to news that Egypt had cancelled a major wheat tender due to high prices, since that country is traditionally the world’s largest wheat importer. December CBOT wheat dropped 5.0 cents to $6.855/bushel Thursday afternoon, while December KCBT wheat slid 3.5 cents to $7.555, and December MGE futures sagged 2.0 cents to $7.51.
Cattle futures seemingly followed the equity markets higher Thursday. The dearth of USDA news remains a major handicap to livestock futures trading. Moreover, it may actually increase the cattle market’s sensitivity to outside influences. For example, bulls appeared to react strongly to bullish demand ideas inspired by today’s big stock market advance. December cattle futures climbed 0.22 cents to 132.17 cents/pound at Thursday’s settlement, while April rallied 0.27 to 134.95. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle jumped 1.55 cents to 167.92 cents/pound, and January leapt 1.45 to 167.82.
Hogs may have gotten supportive wholesale news. Although the hog industry is also suffering from a lack of definitive cash and wholesale news, anticipation of seasonal weakness has weighed upon CME futures lately. Stock index gains may also have encouraged bulls, but the decisive nature of the late advance suggests pork prices firmed later in the day. December hog futures gained 0.12 cents to 86.65 cents/pound as Thursday’s session ended, while April rallied 0.35 cents to 90.05.