Weather forecasts and export news sent corn prices higher Thursday morning. Predictions for summery weather in late August boosted the grain and soy markets Wednesday night, since the heat and dryness could significantly reduce harvest prospects. Bulls were also encouraged by the weekly USDA Export Sales report, which easily topped forecasts. September corn jumped 14.0 cents to $4.7875/bushel by late Thursday morning, while December leapt 15.5 cents to $4.7075.
The soy complex also surged in Thursday morning action. Given soybean crop’s greater responsiveness to August weather, forecasts for increased heat and dryness later this month were seen as being particularly bullish for soybean and product prices. The Export Sales report also indicated much stronger commitments than anticipated, thereby adding to the optimistic atmosphere. September soybeans soared 14.5 cents to $12.84/bushel around midsession Thursday, while November beans zoomed up 18.75 to $12.5775. September soyoil bounced 0.65 cents to 42.99 cents/pound, and September soymeal climbed $3.8 to $411.7/ton.
The wheat markets followed corn and beans higher again Thursday morning. Although the global wheat situation seems likely to be more liquid than that for corn and soybeans during the coming months, today’s gains in those other crops did pull wheat prices higher as well. The rise also came despite a rather disappointing result on the weekly Export Sales report. September CBOT wheat rallied 7.25 cents to $6.3775/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday; September KCBT wheat advanced 4.25 cents to $7.03, and September MGE futures surged 7.5 cents to $7.435.
Cattle futures couldn’t sustain early Thursday gains. Wednesday’s afternoon wholesale report indicated considerable strength in beef values, which translated into early morning gains in the CME pit. However, traders seemingly became much more concerned about demand strength as the equity indexes substantially extended recent losses. October cattle futures sagged 0.17 cents to 128.00 cents/pound in late Thursday morning trading, while December sank 0.17 cents to 129.82. September feeder cattle fell 0.40 cents to 157.05 cents/pound, and November dropped 0.82 cents to 159.57.
Lean hog futures turned sharply lower Thursday. Although the swine market remained steady overnight, the cash and wholesale losses published in Wednesday afternoon USDA reports apparently weighed upon prices early Thursday morning. The concurrent equity losses probably exaggerated selling later in the day. October hog futures dove 1.07 cents to 87.07 cents/pound around midday Thursday, while December tumbled 1.02 cents to 83.65.
Cotton futures diverged from the other crops Thursday morning. Cotton futures seemed to stall in response to improved weather forecasts for dry areas of Texas in early morning trading, although the gains posted by the other crop markets seemingly provided some support. However, the large losses suffered by the equity markets apparently outweighed other concerns in late morning action. December cotton futures had slipped 0.04 cents to 91.51 around midday Thursday, while March was steady at 88.95.