Corn futures moved generally higher Thursday. Old crop prices rose only slightly, due in part to talk that the cash situation has eased somewhat. Although weather forecasts seemingly favor improved harvest prospects, deferred futures moved moderately higher. The big U.S. dollar breakdown boosted corn along with most other commodities. The weekly USDA Export Sales report had little apparent impact upon the market. July corn rose 3.0 cents to $6.6325/bushel at its Thursday settlement, while December advanced 6.0 cents to $5.4825.
Despite supportive results on the USDA Export Sales report, nearby soybean and product futures declined Thursday. Old crop prices apparently slipped in reaction to talk of an easing cash situation, whereas the positive demand implications of the dollar drop likely limited those losses and boosted the new crop contracts. July soybean futures slid 4.75 cents to $15.2725/bushel as the closing bell rang Thursday, while July soyoil skidded 0.14 cents to 48.16 cents/pound, and July soybean meal dropped $1.9 to $454.6/ton.
The weekly Export Sales report seemed supportive of new crop wheat futures Thursday, since the result, at 664,900 tonnes, topped forecasts in the 400,000-600,000 tonne range. Having a respected industry firm lower its estimate of the current U.S. winter wheat crop probably boosted the nearby contracts. Despite those developments and the U.S. dollar decline, forecasts for dryer Great Plains weather in mid-June seemed to reverse weigh upon the markets. July CBOT wheat futures fell 3.75 cents to $6.9775/bushel late Thursday afternoon, and July KCBT wheat lost 4.75 cents to $7.385, whereas July MGE futures climbed 4.25 cents to $8.2025.
Demand concerns about the cattle/beef outlook apparently pressured cattle futures again Thursday morning, but anticipation of cash market stability may be affecting the market. That is, if cash prices do not decline significantly this week, traders could become less pessimistic about summer-fall price prospects. June cattle closed up 0.20 cents to 120.45 cents/pound Thursday, while December advanced 0.65 to 125.30. August feeder futures added 0.05 cents to 144.65 cents/pound, and November stepped up 0.37 cents to 150.37.
Hog traders apparently grew more confident about the early-summer outlook Thursday, as implied by fresh CME gains. Cash price indications actually pointed to significant losses in the western Corn Belt, but bulls were seemingly counting upon continued wholesale gains. The midday pork report fell sharply, but that did little to depress Chicago prices. June hog futures climbed 0.65 cents to 97.30 cents/pound at the daily settlement, while December rallied 0.52 cents to 81.00.