Corn remained weak Thursday night. Although yesterday’s weekly USDA Export Sales report looked bullish for corn, CBOT prices continued their recent decline. Talk of rapid spring planting and lower demand resulting from the ongoing ‘bird flu’ outbreak reportedly weighed on prices yesterday and persisted overnight. May corn futures slid 1.75 cents to $3.69/bushel early Friday morning, while December lost 1.5 to $3.93.
The soy complex set back from Thursday’s highs. The soybean and product markets rallied in response to news that Brazil’s truckers are once again disrupting transport in that country after failing to gain concessions from the government or trucking companies. That was expected to persist into the weekend, but today’s early futures weakness suggests something changed. May soybean futures sank 4.0 cents to $9.7425/bushel
Thursday night, while May soyoil skidded 0.07 cents to 31.95 cents/pound, and May meal dipped $1.0 to $315.6/ton.
The wheat markets seemed to follow corn and beans lower. The wheat markets were so quiet overnight that they weren’t even mentioned in wire service summaries, thereby suggesting the losses that occurred represented selling spilling over from the other markets. Pre-weekend position squaring may dominate action today, but weather forecast and crop/planting news could drive prices early next week. May CBOT wheat futures slipped 0.75 cent to $4.97/bushel just after dawn Friday, while May KC wheat sagged 1.25 cents to $5.1525/bushel, and May MWE wheat stalled at $5.4525.
Cattle futures turned sharply higher Thursday. Cattle futures didn’t perform well early this week, especially after scattered cash trading at lower levels Wednesday. However, bears couldn’t trigger a hoped for follow-through breakdown Thursday morning, which apparently opened the door for a big reversal. Active short-covering and midsession reports of cash and wholesale strength apparently powered the move. Futures seem likely to open higher, but face technical resistance. June and August cattle futures zoomed up the 3.00-cent daily limit to 149.02 and 147.85 cents/pound, respectively in late Thursday action. Meanwhile, May and August feeder cattle futures rocketed up the expanded 4.50-cent limit and posted respective closes at 211.25 and 212.95 cents/pound.
Resurgent pork quotes spurred big CME hog gains as well. The pork markets performed rather poorly early this week, but midday pork reports confirmed early-morning talk of big Thursday morning gains. That news, along with bullish technical implications of the futures surge, almost surely triggered active Chicago buying. Futures declined in afternoon GLOBEX action, thereby suggesting a weak opening. June hog futures ended Thursday having spiked 2.37 cents to 78.32 cents/pound, while December surged 1.62 to 68.65.
Cotton sustained Thursday’s big advance. Declines posted the previous week apparently set the stage for a big bullish response to yesterday’s strong export news. ICE cotton prices continued rising, albeit at a slower
pace overnight, which seemed to represent persistent bullish momentum rather than a reaction to events. May cotton gained 0.31 cents to 64.90 cents/pound in early Friday trading, while December futures rose 0.10 to