The grain markets are mixed early Thursday morning.  Reports over the next few days could clarify market direction amidst the foggy acreage expectations in light of yet more above normal moisture in the nearby forecast. Today, the export sales report will be released at 730 am.  For corn, the trade estimate is 500,000 to 700,000 tonnes for old-crop corn and 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes for new crop corn.  Additionally, next Monday’s crop progress report should provide a more clear picture of how crops are faring.  Then next Tuesday, the USDA acreage/stocks reports will be released.  The US Dollar index is up .03 to 95.28.  July corn futures fell 1.25 cents to $3.6625/bushel in the overnight session, while December lost 1.25 cents to $3.7925.    

Soybeans firmed in the overnight session ahead of another wet few days in the Midwest.  The estimates for today’s export sales report are 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes for old-crop beans and 250,000 to 500,000 tonnes for new-crop.  The focus will remain on Missouri and Kansas in the crop progress report next Monday as they were 37% and 18% behind average planting progress according to last Monday’s report. July soybeans gained 5.75 cents to $9.8725/bushel early Thursday morning, while July soyoil lost .03 cents to 33.23 cents/pound, and July meal climbed $2.4 to $330.4/ton.  

Wheat futures weakened again overnight despite reports of the disease, head scab, “exploding” in north-central Kansas wheat crop.  Trade estimates for the export sales report due out this morning are 200,000 to 450,000 tonnes for new-crop wheat. The market will look to the planting progress report next Monday as the recent report stated the winter wheat harvest was 12% behind the average for this year. July CBOT wheat futures slid 3.25 cents to $5.1825/bushel at the end of trading Wednesday, while July KC wheat dropped 5.75 cents to $5.245/bushel, and July MWE lost 5 cents to $5.6475.    

Despite continued strength in cutout values, cattle futures were broadly lower Wednesday.  July futures fell below the 40-day moving average of 152.07 perhaps resulting in further fund liquidation.  Retail beef for the month of May set a record when average prices hit $6.412 per pound.  Daily cattle slaughter numbers from the USDA were reported to be  104,000 head today, compared to 117,000 head a year ago. The estimated week-to-date slaughter value was 325,000 head, compared to 347,000 during the same period last year.  August cattle futures fell 1.42 cents to 150.40 cents/pound at the close Wednesday, while December futures dropped 1.57 cents to 154.10. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures slid 1.85 cents to 223.52 cents/pound, and November feeders lost 1.90 cents to 218.22.  

Lean hog futures were mixed Wednesday perhaps from short covering and caution ahead of the upcoming report.  Friday, the USDA will release the quarterly hogs and pigs report at 2pm.  Markets have continued to adjust to futures being oversold.  Nearby futures still remain well below the 40-day moving average of 80.84 cents/pound. August hog futures gained .17 cents to 72.42 cents/pound, while December dropped .05 cents to 60.90.                    

ICE cotton futures traded mixed today.  The trade continues to wrestle with its confidence in the US production numbers being consistent with planting expectation in addition to the global oversupply of the crop. The July cotton futures climbed 0.76 cents to 64.34 cents/pound at the close Wednesday, while December lost 0.02 to 64.53.