Livestock led the ag markets mostly higher Thursday morning

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Traders cite ethanol demand for rising corn futures. Although corn seemed to follow wheat higher Wednesday night, yellow grain prices are performing much better today. Wire service reports point to Wednesday’s record EIA ethanol production total, which clearly implies robust corn demand. Poor Export Sales results may limit gains. July corn climbed 7.5 cents to $4.49/bushel around midsession Thursday, while December added 7.0 to $4.465.

Good old-crop export news seemingly sparked fresh soy strength. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week’s old-crop soy sales at 97,700 tonnes, which fell only slightly below the top industry estimate. That news apparently triggered an across-the board advance, despite weak new-crop sales. The reason bulls like new crop futures so well isn’t clear. July soybeans advanced 9.75 cents to $14.1875/bushel shortly before the lunch hour Thursday, while July soyoil rebounded 0.40 cents to 40.53 cents/pound, and July soymeal rose $0.6 to $453.8/ton.

The wheat markets turned mixed. Poor harvest results from Kansas and talk of improved export demand boosted wheat futures in early Thursday action, but bulls couldn’t sustain the upward momentum. The omnipresence of the bearish global situation probably stifled the move, as did the bullish failure at moving average resistance on the CBOT charts. July CBOT wheat futures inched up 0.75 cent to $5.8775/bushel late Thursday morning, while July KCBT wheat gained 1.5 cents to $7.2925 but July MWE futures sagged 0.5 to $6.9775.

CME cattle are apparently reacting to improved cash prospects. Live cattle futures fell early this week as traders seemed to anticipate a return of seasonal weakness. However, soaring beef prices have reportedly caused packers to boost their bids for feedlot cattle, which sent futures soaring once again. August cattle spiked 2.82 cents to 147.85 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while December leapt 1.92 to 151.15. Meanwhile, August and October feeder cattle futures soared the daily 3.0-cent limit to 207.85 and 208.70 cents/pound, respectively.

Cash and wholesale developments may be limiting hog gains. Hog futures apparently found technical support Wednesday, then bounced on good late-afternoon cash and pork news. However, today’s midday reports were flat to lower, thereby seeming to limit the size of the CME surge. August hog futures soared 2.40 cents to 129.67 around lunchtime Thursday, while December zoomed up 2.45 cents to 96.70.

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