Export Sales report seemed generally bearish

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Today’s USDA Export Sales data disappointed crop traders. Thursday’s weekly report stated old-crop corn sales below the forecast range, while the new crop figure came in on the low side. Given the technical/pragmatic slide begun yesterday, it was hardly surprising to see prices continue declining this morning. May corn declined 6.5 cents to $4.9575/bushel late Thursday morning, while December sagged 6.25 to $4.9925.

The soy complex wasn’t helpful either. Today’s Export Sales soybean were mediocre, with the actual figures coming in around the middle of forecast ranges. That probably encouraged bears hearing talk of sizeable Chinese cancellations of U.S. and Brazilian purchases. The meal market proved relatively firm, but midsession quotes for the nearby contracts had still lost ground on the day. May soybeans dove 14.5 cents to $14.8075/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while May soyoil dropped 0.59 cents to 42.32 cents/pound, and May soymeal slipped $3.3 to $478.8/ton.

The wheat markets also reacted poorly to the export data. Although pessimism about the likely success of the U.S. winter crop continues supporting futures prices, the markets turned decidedly lower after today’s export data were released. Last week’s old crop sales were especially poor, thereby suggesting international demand is dwindling at current price levels. May CBOT wheat futures tumbled 10.25 cents to $6.5875/bushel in late Thursday morning action, while May KCBT wheat futures fell 10.75 cents to $7.225, and May MWE futures sank 11.25 cents to $7.015.

Nearby cattle futures dipped in Thursday morning trading. The cattle/beef industry is anticipating sizeable seasonal losses during the days and weeks ahead, but they had seemingly risen Wednesday night on ideas that the implied losses were too large. However, the large beef losses posted Wednesday afternoon seemed to come to fore this morning. June cattle futures slumped 0.52 cents to 135.10 cents/pound around midsession Thursday, while December sagged 0.62 to 139.92. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle stumbled 0.67 cents lower to 179.55 cents/pound, and August slid 0.27 to 181.57.

Hog futures are feeling renewed pressure. After seemingly posting a major top last week, the hog and pork complex has proven generally weak lately. Cash prices firmed Wednesday, which apparently sparked the concurrent CME rebound. Conversely, falling pork price are reportedly undercutting packer demand for hogs, thereby putting pressure on swine values as well. June hog futures plummeted 1.85 cents to 119.27 cents/pound late Thursday morning, and December dropped 1.12 to 88.42.


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