Livestock futures surged Thursday, crop markets mixed

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Bargain hunting reportedly boosted corn futures Thursday afternoon. The weekly USDA Export Sales report indicated modest U.S. corn marketings last week, which met industry expectations. CBOT futures proved weak in response to favorable Midwest forecasts in early action, but traders seemingly concluded the market was relatively cheap later in the day. July corn closed up 3.0 cents to $4.44/bushel Thursday afternoon, while December gained 2.0 cents to $4.4375.

The soy complex came under increasing pressure. Although the Export Sales report seemed rather favorable, the Chicago bean and meal markets turned decidedly lower once again. Favorable forecasts probably weighed on new crop prices to some extent, but it looked as if strong technical selling was depressing old crop prices. Asian palm strength apparently supported the oil market. July soybeans plunged 30.25 cents to $14.1525/bushel as Thursday’s pit session ended, while July soyoil advanced 0.16 cents to 38.58 cents/pound, and July soymeal tumbled $13.1 to $469.2/ton.

The wheat markets proved rather mixed Thursday. Export sales of new crop wheat far exceeded industry expectations, which in more normal circumstances might have sent prices sharply higher. Bearish global fundamentals kept the pressure upon prices, as did generally favorable weather forecasts. Conversely, forthcoming rains might hurt the winter wheat crop, which may explain the KC bounce. July CBOT wheat futures slid 4.0 cents to $5.8525/bushel at their Thursday close, while July KCBT wheat rose 1.25 cents to $7.055 and July MWE futures sagged 2.0 to $6.82.

Surging cash bids sent cattle futures higher Thursday. Anticipation of late-week wholesale losses seemed to trigger CME cattle selling Wednesday. However, futures reversed sharply higher today, which reflected reports that packers had boosted their bids above last week’s cash levels. August cattle spiked 2.97 cents to 146.00 cents/pound at Thursday’s settlement, while December jumped 2.05 to 150.65. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle soared 2.97 cents to 205.85 and October leapt 2.85 to 206.67.

Hog futures followed cattle higher. Trader disappointment with Wednesday’s late-afternoon cash and wholesale reports caused a weak start to today’s hog trading. However, strong cash and wholesale news at midsession, along with soaring cattle futures apparently powered increasing gains as the day passed. August hog futures ended Thursday having climbed 0.85 to 130.80 cents/pound, while December ran up 2.40 cents to 98.65.


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