Most ag markets are higher, but hog futures are tumbling Thursday

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Grain futures followed soybeans higher again Wednesday night. There’s little fresh news concerning corn ahead of the weekly Export Sales report. The Doane Crop Tour found outstanding yield potential in northwest and western Iowa and eastern Nebraska yesterday. It’s pretty clear that corn is following beans higher at this point. September corn rose 3.25 cents higher at $3.6575/bushel early Thursday morning, while December added 2.5 cents to $3.7325.

Talk of potential August dryness is spurring soy buying. Soybean plants across the Midwest have benefitted from virtually ideal weather this year. However, the latest forecasts imply growing dryness across the region over the next two weeks, which given the critical time of the year, might hurt bean yields this fall. Traders are reacting quickly to the news. August soybean futures jumped 19.5 cents to $12.205/bushel Wednesday night, while November futures climbed 15.0 to $10.915. August soyoil ran up 0.22 cents to 36.42 cents/pound and August soymeal gained $6.0 to $397.5/ton.

The wheat markets are also rebounded. Scouts touring North Dakota spring wheat fields found good productive potential, which might easily be weighing upon Minneapolis prices. However, wheat futures are following their counterparts in the soybean pit higher, with the size of recent breakdown likely spurring short-covering and bottom picking. September CBOT wheat rallied 4.75 cents to $5.355/bushel in early Thursday trading, while September KC wheat advanced 7.5 cents to $6.31/bushel, and September MWE wheat moved up 6.0 cents to $6.27.

Cattle futures resumed their strong advance last night. The cattle market seemed to lose its upward momentum Wednesday, possibly due to ideas that wholesale prices will decline through the balance of July. Afternoon cutout levels actually proved mixed. Ultimately, we suspect packers raised their bids for fed cattle in the West and/or paid up for cattle sold Wednesday evening. August live cattle leapt 1.72 cents to 157.77 cents/pound as Thursday’s trading accelerated, while December vaulted 0.85 cents higher to 158.57. Meanwhile, August feeder futures surged 1.15 cents to 218.40 cents/pound and October feeders gained 0.25 to 218.42.

Hog futures continued falling on cash and wholesale weakness. Wednesday’s hog breakdown had lots of bearish technical implications. Thus, news of sizeable cash and wholesale losses later in the day apparently triggered fresh CME selling. August hog futures dove 1.17 cents to 123.40 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over Chicago and December plunged 2.30 cents to 99.20.

Cotton futures dipped in Wednesday night action. Little fresh news concerning cotton emerged overnight, but instead of following beans higher as did the grains, the fiber market dipped. We wonder if traders are wondering if the path of least resistance points lower after the minimal gains posted early this week. December cotton slid 0.16 cents to 67.92 cents per pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while March futures sagged 0.20 to 68.53 cents/lb.

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