Corn futures stalled Thursday morning. Equity index and crude oil futures rose overnight, which, along with dollar weakness, seemed to pull the crop markets higher. However, the corn result on the weekly USDA Export Sales report met expectations, which seemed to rob the market of upward momentum. Nearby futures had inched upward as the lunch hour loomed. March corn sagged 0.25 cent to $3.8325/bushel, while July gained edged down 0.5 to $3.985.
Indonesian news is spurring bean and oil gains. Indonesian officials announced overnight that they were considering a subsidy for domestic biodiesel production, which sent palm oil markets soaring. Soyoil futures have also jumped and appear to be pulling bean prices higher as well. Prospects for record South American crops are likely limiting gains somewhat, as exemplified by the weak showing posted by meal futures. The export data was largely anticipated. March soybean futures rallied 8.0 cents to $9.80/bushel around midsession Thursday and March soyoil leapt 1.13 cents to 31.73 cents/pound, while March meal skidded $1.7 at $331.0/ton.
Egyptian news boosted the wheat markets Thursday morning. Continued talk of active global buying probably supported wheat prices Wednesday night. Indeed, a report that Egyptian officials might issue a tender for U.S. wheat only apparently spurred the morning advance, particularly after the Export Sales report essentially matched forecasts. Equity and energy gains likely encouraged bulls as well. March CBOT wheat climbed 8.5 to $5.195/bushel late Thursday morning, while March KC wheat added 6.0 to $5.5875/bushel, and March MWE wheat advanced 7.25 to $5.7325.
Cattle futures bounced from early losses. Growing talk that the slowdown of exports flowing through West Coast ports was stifling U.S. meat shipments apparently exerted persistent pressure on cattle futures this morning. However, Chicago prices bounced from the early lows, possibly in anticipation of the midday rise in select beef cutout. April live cattle futures sank 0.30 cents to 148.35 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while August cattle bounced 0.12 cents to 140.47 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures dove 1.65 cents to 195.07 cents/pound and May feeders plunged 1.72 to 195.90.
Spot losses continue weighing on CME hogs. As with cattle, worries about the export sector are apparently depressing the hog and pork complex. Futures continued Wednesday’s breakdown early this morning and remained under stead pressure as the weak tone of the day’s spot quotes became apparent. April hog futures fell 1.22 cents to 63.90 cents/pound in late Thursday morning trading, while June hogs tumbled 1.30 to 78.32.
Cotton traders seem pleased with the export numbers. ICE cotton futures turned lower along with most commodity markets Wednesday, then followed through to the downside overnight. New York traders seemingly expect a weak result on the weekly Export Sales report. And while the stated USDA total fell well short of last week’s huge total, it topped the four-week average by 5%. Nearby futures rallied as a result. March cotton futures lifted 0.42 cents to 61.65 cents/pound shortly after noon (EST) Thursday, while the July contract slipped 0.01 to 61.99.