Crop markets surged again Thursday night

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The Black Sea situation again boosted the grain and soy markets Thursday night. The continued strength of U.S. corn exports very likely offered support for prices overnight, but growing unrest in the Black Sea region also appeared to play a sizeable role in the overnight rally. Having the U.S. dollar index fall to a five-month low probably encouraged bulls as well. May corn surged 8.0 cents to $4.99/bushel early Friday morning, while December gained 3.75 to $4.93.

Export strength continues spurring bean gains. Thursday’s weekly USDA Export Sales report indicated another week of strong sales of U.S. beans and products, whereas bean cancellations are more common at this time of year. The Black Sea situation is very likely encouraging bulls as well, especially with Ukraine producing so much of the world’s sunflower seeds and oil. May soybeans leapt 19.5 cents to $14.575/bushel Thursday night, while May soyoil advanced 0.46 cents to 44.95 cents/pound, and May soymeal climbed $6.6 to $457.5/ton.

The wheat markets are also rallying. Events on the Black Sea are rather obviously causing concerns about the availability of grain supplies from that region. Less than ideal conditions in several regions, particularly the U.S. southern Plains, as well as current dollar weakness, are probably spurring buying as well. May CBOT wheat futures soared 15.0 cents to $6.61/bushel in early Friday trading, while May KCBT wheat futures rallied 10.75 cents to $7.24, and May MWE futures ran up 9.75 at $7.05.

Cash weakness is apparently undercutting cattle futures Friday morning. Although wholesale prices have surged this week, producers took about $2.00/cwt lower less for their cattle week than did a week ago. News to that effect depressed futures Wednesday and Thursday and appeared to continue weighing upon CME values last night. April cattle futures slid 0.17 cents to 142.97 cents/pound as Friday dawned over Chicago, while August slumped 0.17 cents to 132.97. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle fell 0.42 cents to 172.37 cents/pound, and August dropped 0.52 to 174.90.

Hog futures seemed to lose their upward momentum. Talk of sharply reduced hog slaughter this week and in the coming weeks have greatly encouraged bullish hog traders this week. Late reports of Thursday’s cash and wholesale boosted prices farther last night, but early morning weakness suggests the market may finally beginning an overdue technical setback. April hogs declined 0.55 cents to 111.85 cents/pound early Friday morning, while June sank 0.75 to 118.60.

Cotton futures sustained Thursday’s technical breakout. Yesterday’s Export Sales report indicated a substantial increase from the previous result, but futures responded posted a modest reaction. The late breakout to nine-month highs was largely technical in nature, as the overnight follow-through also seemed to be. It will be interesting if bulls can sustain the surge through the close, since the monthly WASDE report will be released Monday morning. May cotton zoomed up 1.39 cents to 93.00 soon after sunrise (EST) Friday, while December cotton rose 0.08 cents to 79.63.

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