Livestock futures diverged from weak crop markets

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Weather news continues weighing on corn futures. The weekly USDA Export Sales report seemed supportive of CBOT corn prices, but the market suffered moderate across-the-board losses Thursday morning. Ultimately, improved weather and prospects for a huge fall crop are dominating trading. July corn slumped 5.5 cents to $4.5075/bushel around midsession Thursday, while December slid 6.0 cents to $4.475.

The export data apparently disappointed soy traders. Although the sales figure on the weekly Export Sales report again proved positive, the shipments figure reportedly disappointed bulls. The whole complex moved lower as the morning passed, with Asian palm weakness rather clearly weighing on oil values once again. Traders doubt old-crop demand strength at this point. July soybeans fell 16.5 cents to $14.66/bushel by late Thursday morning, while July soyoil dove 0.61 cents to 38.64 cents/pound, and July soymeal slipped $3.1 to $493.4/ton.

The Export Sales report seems to be affecting the wheat markets. CBOT wheat prices have declined this morning, whereas the KC and Minneapolis markets have risen slightly. A look at the breakdown of sales on the weekly Export Sales report may explain the difference, since last week’s SRW shipments lagged behind those for hard winter and spring wheat. July CBOT wheat futures sagged 6.75 cents to $6.0775/bushel as lunchtime loomed Thursday, while July KCBT wheat gained 2.25 cents to $7.1575 and July MWE futures inched up 0.25 cent to $6.8975.

Cattle traders apparently expecting late-week cash strength. CME live cattle futures rose strongly Thursday morning despite Wednesday afternoon wholesale slippage. That probably reflects growing industry expectations for firm-to-higher cash quotes later today and/or tomorrow. August cattle surged 0.70 cents to 140.87 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while December advanced 0.57 cents to 147.40. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle climbed 0.62 cents to 199.40 cents/pound, but October slipped 0.07 to 199.85.

Hog futures rebounded from Wednesday night losses. Wednesday afternoon cash and wholesale reports looked quite supportive of short-term hog price prospects, especially since traders anticipate a big summer surge. Chicago prices fell significantly overnight, but the nearby contracts staged a sizeable comeback this morning. August hog futures rallied 0.30 cents to 128.10 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while December dropped 0.70 to 93.57.

Strong export data didn’t seem to help cotton futures Thursday. The weekly USDA report stated last week’s cotton sales well above the week-prior figure, but it only slightly exceeded the four-week average. The latter statistic may explain the muted response to the news. Fiber prices are testing major technical support. July cotton dipped 0.36 cents to 85.72 cents/pound shortly before noon (EDT) Thursday, while December cotton tumbled 0.50 to 77.38.

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