The crop markets rallied again Thursday night. Although large areas of the western Corn Belt were blessed with rain Thursday morning, forecasts for hot, dry weather in late August probably supported the crop markets once again this morning. Disappointing Iowa results from a major crop tour probably boosted prices as well. September corn climbed 6.75 cents to $4.9425/bushel early Friday morning, while December gained 4.0 cents to $4.685.
The soy complex also bounced in early Friday action. And while summery forecasts for the Corn Belt probably supported the market once again, the Iowa crop tour reading for soybeans probably provided the main upward thrust. That is, the big crop tour that covered the state yesterday indicated average pod counts below those seen during last year’s drought. September soybeans jumped 15.0 cents to $13.37/bushel around sunrise Friday, while November beans surged 12.25 to $12.99. September soyoil added 0.22 cents to 42.65 cents/pound, and September soymeal lifted $4.7 to $418.0/ton.
Wheat futures continued following corn and soybeans Friday morning. There was little wheat news other than a Saudi Arabian tender to 660,000 tonnes overnight. That probably provided some support for golden grain values, but it seems obvious the wheat markets are still tracking price action in the corn and soy complexes. September CBOT wheat rose 1.75 cents to $6.3225/bushel in early Friday trading, while September KCBT wheat edged 2.25 cents higher to $6.965, and September MGE futures grew 0.75 cent to $7.20.
Cattle futures were mixed in overnight action. We suspect cattle traders have become somewhat less optimistic about the likely outcome of this week’s cash trading (which may not occur until after the release of the USDA Cattle on Feed report at 2:00 PM CDT). However, the wholesale market proved surprisingly firm yesterday. In addition, the monthly Cold Storage seemed somewhat supportive. October cattle futures inched up 0.02 cents to 127.22 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December sagged 0.02 cents to 129.70. September feeder cattle futures sank 0.35 cents to 157.35 cents/pound, and November lost 0.32 to 160.12.
The Cold Storage report depressed hog futures overnight. The monthly USDA Cold Storage report stated ending-July U.S. pork stocks well above forecasts. However, unlike the crop markets, red meat stockpiles are quite small when compared with ongoing production, so the report should not greatly affect CME futures. Still, seasonal weakness is dominating the hog and pork complex at the moment. October hog futures slipped 0.02 cents to 84.37 cents/pound in early Friday action, while December declined 0.17 cents to 81.42.
The cotton market proved surprisingly firm Friday morning. After witnessing disturbing price volatility through much of August, the ICE exchange boosted margins on cotton futures by 25% Thursday afternoon, which might easily have sparked a good deal of selling overnight. Talk that this week’s huge breakdown had sparked renewed mill buying may explain the modest early gains. December cotton futures rallied 0.32 cents to 84.50 cents/pound soon after dawn Friday, while March crept up 0.22 cents to 83.85.