Livestock futures again outperformed crop prices Wednesday night

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Corn futures dipped Wednesday night. The corn market has fluctuated narrowly this week, which was again the case last night. Futures dipped from recent highs but are finding considerable support from their 10-day moving averages. This morning’s weekly Export Sales report may trigger a move in either direction. March corn skidded 2.0 cents to $4.535/bushel early Thursday morning, while May lost 2.0 to $4.59.

The soy complex rallied in early Thursday action. Soybeans spent most of Wednesday night at lower levels along with corn and wheat, but posted a surprising advance in the early morning hours. That was particularly surprising given the overnight decline in Asian palm oil prices and the resulting pressure on soyoil. Traders may be looking for a bullish number on the forthcoming Export Sales report. March soybeans climbed 5.75 cents to $14.13/bushel around dawn Thursday, while March soyoil sank 0.19 cents to 41.01 cents/pound, and March soymeal bounced $2.1 to $470.4/ton.

The wheat markets proved surprisingly weak. After cancelling purchases of U.S. wheat earlier in the week, Egypt issued a fresh tender for American grain after Wednesday’s pit session ended. That seemed likely to spark an overnight rebound from yesterday’s lows, but traders apparently took the view that U.S. wheat is still too expensive to attract export interest. March CBOT wheat futures slid 3.5 cents to $5.96/bushel in early Thursday action, while March KCBT wheat futures fell 5.25 cents to $6.7375, and March MWE futures dropped 3.25 to $6.67.

Cattle futures are building on Wednesday’s spike. Rising beef prices apparently persuaded beef packers to pay up for fed cattle yesterday, with Nebraska cattle reportedly trading at a record of $152/cwt (cents/pound). Nearby futures spiked upward and continue rising overnight. April cattle futures advanced 0.77 cents to 145.30 as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while August ran up 0.27 to 133.33. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle rallied 0.42 cents to 172.42 cents/pound, and May surged 0.45 to 170.95.

Hog futures are climbing as well. Cash hog prices surged again Wednesday, although pork cutouts rose only slightly. Nevertheless, traders clearly expect the strong upward trend to continue, as indicated by the April contract’s ongoing rush to record highs for this time of year. April hogs leapt 1.30 cents to 102.32 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while June added 0.77 to 109.12.

Technical buying boosted cotton futures Wednesday night. A general lack of news seemed to trigger big Tuesday-Wednesday losses in cotton futures, with the nearby contracts ended yesterday resting on technical support associated with their pivotal 40-day moving average. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see the market had rebounded from that level last night. Traders may also be expecting a bullish result on the weekly Export Sales report. May cotton jumped 0.74 cents to 87.11 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Thursday, while December cotton surged 0.79 cents to 77.56.

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