Thursday's export news supported the crop markets

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Export news boosted corn futures Thursday morning. The corn market built upon overnight gains after the weekly Export Sales report stated the latest result over 1.8 million tonnes. That was well above forecasts. That was followed by news of a sizeable (127,000 tonnes) sale to an unknown destination. March corn surged 6.5 cents to $4.34/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May climbed 6.5 to $4.405.

Soybean futures bounced from chart support. Persistent talk of surging South American supplies again depressed soybeans and meal last night. The weekly Export Sales report wasn’t helpful either (with the result falling within the forecast range). And yet beans led the complex higher this morning. That can probably be credited to the March contract’s strong rebound from its test of the $12.60 level. March soybeans ran up 12.0 cents to $12.8125/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while March soyoil edged up 0.05 cents to 37.15 cents/pound, and March soymeal gained $3.9 to $427.2/ton.

The wheat markets also benefited from good export news. The wheat markets bounced slightly last night after tumbling Wednesday. Bulls sustained those gains in the wake of the weekly USDA Export Sales report, since it stated last week’s result above the forecast range. Having the International Grain Council lower its global production estimate by 1% may also have encouraged traders. March CBOT wheat futures rallied 4.0 cents to $5.555/bushel in late Thursday morning trading, while March KCBT wheat futures gained 3.75 cents to $6.125, but March MWE futures slipped 1.25 to $5.9675.

Futures discounts may be supporting CME cattle prices. Diving beef prices are undercutting cattle futures at this point, since those suggest beef packers will cut their bids for country cattle today and/or tomorrow. However, the nearby contracts are already trading at sizeable discounts, which is probably limiting the bearish reaction. February cattle futures skidded 0.02 cents to 142.050 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while the April contract slipped 0.22 cents to 140.30. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle sagged 0.25 cents to 168.97 cents/pound, and May dropped 0.27 to 169.57.

Dipping cash and wholesale values are probably undercutting hog futures. Renewed hopes for robust seasonal gains seemingly boosted nearby CME hog values Wednesday, but subsequent reports indicated mixed cash prices and a dip in pork quotes. That news and likely talk of similar action today are apparently weighing upon hog futures today. February hogs fell 0.57 cents to 85.95 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while June stalled lost 0.07 to 103.25.

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