Traders disappointed by weekly Export Sales reports

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Corn futures were weak Thursday morning after rallying Wednesday. Overnight losses were seemingly confirmed by the weekly Export Sales report, which put the results for last week at the low end of weak expectations. Deferred futures rose, thereby seeming to reflect the persistence of cold, damp weather over the Corn Belt and the growing possibility of delayed plantings. May corn edged 1.75 cents lower to $7.3075/bushel late Thursday morning, while December gained 1.75 cents to $5.6875.

Soybean futures continued their Wednesday surge Thursday morning despite a disappointing result on the weekly USDA Export Sales report. The advance seemingly reflects bullish trader expectations about Chinese buying of U.S. beans after they canceled a large number of Brazilian orders earlier this week. May soybeans jumped 17.25 cents to $14.37/bushel in late Thursday morning trading, while May soyoil climbed 0.40 cents to 50.24 cents/pound, while May meal gained $4.9 to $418.7/ton.

The disappointing results of the weekly USDA Export Sales report seemed to weigh upon wheat futures Thursday morning. Both old and new crop sales came in at or below pre-report forecasts, thereby suggesting export demand for the golden grain is not as strong as previously thought. Persistent improvements in Great Plains growing conditions may also be undercutting the market somewhat. May CBOT wheat futures dipped 5.0 cents to $7.31/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May KCBT wheat lost 4.75 cents to $7.615, and May MGE futures dropped 5.0 cents to $8.045.

Cattle traders seemingly think the cash markets are due for a bounce in the wake of Tuesday losses, since they have pushed CME futures moderately higher since that time. That seems rather remarkable when viewed within the context of concurrent wholesale losses. On the other hand, this may represent relief from the prospect of packing industry closings after Congress passed legislation to avoid the anticipated meat inspector furloughs. April cattle gained 0.57 cents to 126.62 cents/pound in late Thursday morning trading, while August advanced 0.65 cents to 123.87. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle surged 1.20 cent to 138.85 cents/pound, and August jumped 1.65 cents to 148.80.

Despite ongoing signs of cash and wholesale weakness, CME lean hog futures rebounded Thursday morning. As in the cattle pit, that may reflect a bullish response to the increased possibility that the packing industry will avoid shutdowns due to USDA meat inspector furloughs. Traders also realize that the hog and pork complex has a history of rallying strongly during the second quarter. April hogs rose 0.72 cents to 78.60 cents/pound around mid-session Thursday, while June climbed 0.95 cent to 89.45.

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