The crop markets moved mostly higher Wednesday night. After struggling or moving lower yesterday, the crop markets turned upward overnight. We harbor suspicions that wheat is leading the way, with traders focusing upon fresh forecasts for heavy rain over the southern Plains. Corn futures rose in concert, but nearby futures may face stiff short-term technical resistance. July corn futures bounced 2.25 cents to $3.6225/bushel as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while December added 2.25 to $3.795.
Soybeans rebounded from fresh lows. Ideas that current U.S. growing conditions favor a big fall harvest, as well as spreading industry talk that the USDA underestimated likely planted acreage have weighed on soybean and meal futures lately. Soyoil futures continue tracking events in the crude and palm oil markets, with soymeal seeming to attract little interest at this point. Beans rose in concert with grain futures overnight, with Argentine problems and underlying demand strength likely encouraging bulls somewhat. July soybean futures rallied 3.0 cents to $9.4425/bushel early Thursday morning, while July soyoil surged 0.25 cents to 32.45 cents/pound, and July meal edged $1.0 higher to $305.5/ton.
Wheat markets are reacting well to the latest news. The latest weather forecasts suggest winter wheat in the southern Plains will be inundated by fresh rainfall in the short run, thereby increasing the likelihood of disease and pest problems. Overnight news that Japan made a big food wheat purchase overnight may also have encouraged bulls, as did concurrent U.S. dollar slippage. July CBOT wheat futures climbed 4.0 cents to $5.17/bushel Wednesday night, while July KC wheat gained 3.25 cents to $5.4825/bushel, and July MWE wheat advanced 3.0 to $5.7125.
Cattle futures reversed field again Wednesday. Recent CME strength and Tuesday afternoon news that choice beef cutout had surged to a fresh record supported nearby cattle futures on yesterday’s opening. However, bulls couldn’t sustain the strength and prices turned decidedly lower. The cattle/beef industry apparently remained pessimistic about late spring and summer price prospects. However, news of surprising Kansas price firmness spurred a strong GLOBEX rally, which bodes well for today’s opening. June live cattle futures sank 0.62 cents to 151.35 cents/pound in late Wednesday action, while August cattle dropped 0.87 to 149.72. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures tumbled 0.45 cents to 216.70 cents/pound, and November feeders tumbled 1.05 to 214.10.
Hog futures ended the day strongly. The livestock/meat industry also appears to be anticipating a seasonal decline in hog and pork prices, with talk of early cash weakness offsetting the latest rise in the CME index. The late-day surge in the summer contracts suggested renewed spot market strength, but late afternoon reports were mixed to lower. That suggests a weak Thursday morning opening. June hog futures ended Wednesday having advanced 0.40 cents to 82.55 cents/pound, while December gained 0.05 to 70.25.
Dollar shifts seem to be pushing the cotton market around. The fact that so much of the U.S. cotton crop is exported probably explains the fiber market’s recent sensitivity to big shifts in the value of the U.S. dollar. ICE fell sharply as the greenback surged early this week, but both reversed overnight. July futures apparently found technical support around its 100 and 200-day moving averages as well, but may now face resistance associated with its 50-day MA. July cotton vaulted 0.37 cents to 64.52 cents/pound in early Thursday action, while December futures ran up 0.27 to 65.24.