Corn futures are steady to 3 cents lower at mid-morning, but have traded both sides of unchanged. Strength in wheat is providing underlying support to corn along with continued uncertainty regarding yields and production. Weekly corn export sales were even lower than expected at only 10 million bushels.
Soybean futures are moderately lower at mid morning, trading down 1 to 11 cents. Strong gains on Wednesday are partially giving way today on news of generally moderate rains over Iowa over the past 24 hours that should be a boost to soybean prospects. More rains may fall over the next couple of days in the Midwest. Weekly export sales were at the high end of expectations, topping one million tonnes. Plus, USDA announced in its daily export sales reporting system that Philippines had purchased 123,900 tonnes of soybean meal.
Wheat futures remain firm with double-digit gains in mid-session trade, but have stalled with improving rain forecasts for the southern Plains where producers are preparing to begin seeding the 2013 HRW wheat crop. But so far, that has not overcome the positive influence of continued talk that Russia may have to suspend export sales by November, ongoing concern about dry weather in western Australia and a new estimate of the EU wheat crop that’s lower than USDA’s latest estimate.
Cattle futures are mixed at midday trading from 10 points lower for the October contact to 20 points higher for December. Strength in the beef market is supportive to fed cattle futures, but futures up against near-term chart resistance levels and traders are awaiting USDA’s Cattle on Feed report on Friday which is expected to show heavy placements even though placements are seen down year-over-year.
Lean hog futures are trading mixed at midday. Trade volume is light Thursday morning with traders unsure about market direction. Cash hog prices continue to drift lower with slaughter and hog weights both running above year ago levels. Budgets show sizable losses for hog producers over the next few months, which is causing an increase in the number of sows coming to market. That is bearish short-term but should be positive for prices next year.