Surging soy prices dominated the ag markets Thursday
The corn market reacted poorly to today’s USDA reports. The grain and soy markets were weak prior to the late Thursday morning release of the USDA Crop Production and WASDE reports. Corn prices slid despite a strong result on the weekly Export Sales report. The monthly information proved generally bearish, due largely to the USDA’s increase in the 2013/14 crop forecast and rise in next year’s carryout. December corn fell 6.25 cents to $4.6625/bushel at Thursday’s close, while May dropped 6.25 cents to $4.8675.
The soy complex accelerated upward Thursday afternoon. Soybean and product prices also traded weakly despite a vigorous Export Sales figure in early trading. That changed with the release of the monthly reports, since the USDA data cut its production and carryout forecasts for the 2013/14 crop year. November soybeans had soared 37.75 cents to $13.96/bushel by Thursday’s settlement, while October soyoil rose 0.06 cents to 42.78 cents/pound, and October soymeal leapt $20.0 to $449.2/ton.
The wheat markets followed soybeans higher Thursday. The Export Sales data for wheat matched pre-report forecasts, so it had little impact upon prices. In contrast, the monthly reports were seen as rather bearish for the wheat outlook, since the USDA boosted its carryout forecasts slightly. The lack of a substantial change seemingly opened the golden grain markets to the bullish influence of soaring soybean futures. December CBOT wheat closed 5.0 cents higher at $6.53/bushel Thursday, while December KCBT wheat climbed 7.0 cents to $7.0175, and December MGE futures added 4.75 cents to $7.1475.
Cattle futures were generally at Thursday’s settlement. Cattle traders seemed unwilling to push CME prices in either direction Thursday, which at least partially reflected the futures industry’s uncertainty general prior to the WASDE and Crop Production reports. Ultimately, the Chicago market is probably waiting for the results of this week’s cash trading. October cattle futures slid 0.22 cents to 124.82 cents/pound late Thursday afternoon, while December inched up 0.05 cents to 128.62. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle advanced 0.37 cents to 158.60 cents/pound, and January surged 0.85 cents to 159.10.
Bulls couldn’t sustain early CME hog gains. Swine futures rallied strongly Thursday morning in response to late cash and wholesale strength. However, anticipation of fall weakness apparently undercut the market once again. Bears were very likely encouraged by recent technical action as well. October hog futures settled 0.10 cents lower at 90.20 cents/pound Thursday, while December crept up 0.02 cents to 87.27.
Cotton futures also followed the soy complex higher Thursday. The early-morning Export Sales report again seemed bullish for the cotton outlook, which prompted an early rally in the ICE market. However, the monthly reports seemed rather bearish and prompted a quick negative response. Nevertheless, strength spilling over from the soybean complex apparently pulled cotton higher later in the day. December cotton futures rallied 0.40 cents to 84.75 cents/pound at Thursday’s close, while March lifted 0.54 to 84.43.