Crop futures rebounded modestly Wednesday night. Yesterday’s breakdown did considerable damage to the corn charts and might be seen as a harbinger of further losses. Still, traders seem reluctant to push the market much lower ahead of next week’s big USDA reports. December corn futures edged up 0.5 cent to $3.525 in early Thursday trading, while May stalled at $3.7375.
The soy complex is trading mixed. Wednesday’s soy action wasn’t very encouraging either, since all signs point to a massive U.S. harvest this fall. Bulls can take some comfort from the fact that bean futures bounced from intra-day lows and from overnight palm oil gains. Still, beans and meal are struggling again this morning. November soybean futures dipped 3.25 cents to $10.1675/bushel Wednesday night, while October soyoil rallied 0.25 cents to 32.01 cents/pound, and October soymeal slid $2.8 to $361.0/ton.
The wheat markets turned mixed Thursday morning. The easing of tensions in the Ukraine undercut wheat futures Wednesday, with the weakness persisting overnight. Early-morning news of a large Russian military presence in Ukraine apparently sparked a temporary Chicago wheat bounce, whereas the KC and Minneapolis markets were mixed to higher. December CBOT wheat dropped 2.0 cents to $5.3375/bushel just after dawn Thursday, while December KC wheat advanced 4.25 cents to $6.21/bushel, and December MWE wheat inched up 1.75 to $6.12.
Cattle futures surged again last night. Beef cutout values posted disparate gains Wednesday afternoon, but even the sizeable increase in choice prices didn’t seem to justify the overnight surge in nearby cattle futures. That certainly suggests great industry optimism about the short-term cash outlook. October live cattle futures soared 2.47 cents to 157.90 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December futures leapt 1.40 to 159.40. Meanwhile, October feeder futures climbed 0.57 cents to 222.35 cents/pound and January feeders gained 0.32 to 215.65.
Hog traders are also quite optimistic about short-term prospects. Cash hog prices rose moderately Wednesday afternoon, but pork prices fell even more substantially. Nevertheless, nearby hog futures rallied strongly overnight, thereby implying considerable trader confidence about the short-term outlook. October hogs jumped 1.77 cents to 102.87 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while December surged 1.15 to 94.25.
Cotton futures may struggle against moving average resistance. Cotton futures defied the losses in the other crop markets Wednesday, but dipped in overnight action. That may reflect less than promising fundamentals, as well as hardening technical resistance associated with short-to-intermediate term moving averages. December cotton futures sank 0.14 cents to 65.82 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while March futures skidded 0.33 cents to 65.44.