The grain and oilseed markets firmed early Thursday morning ahead of the export sales report and after the DJIA closed 4% higher Wednesday and the Shanghai Composite closed 5.4% higher Thursday, seeming to stabilize the financial markets. U.S. index futures are higher early Thursday morning with DJ mini up 1.1%, the Nasdaq mini up 1.3%, and the S&P mini up .9%, suggesting a higher open today. Ethanol production fell to 952,000 bpd vs 965,000 but still up 4% year-over-year. Export sales trade expectations are 50,000-200,000 for old crop, and 450,000-650,000 for new.  September corn futures climbed 2.25 cents to $3.64/bushel early Thursday, while December gained 2 cents to $3.7525.

China’s stock recovery Thursday strengthened the soy complex as the Shanghai Composite rebounded 5.4% and the Shenzhen composite gained 3.3%. Bargain hunters and short-covering also added support ahead the export sales report, which the trade expects will bring 0-150,000 tonnes for old crop and 600,000-900,000 for new crop. Brazil’s agricultural co-op, Coamo, expects to increase its soybean planted area by 3% in the coming year. September futures gained 11.75 cents to $8.905/bushel Thursday, while September soyoil climbed .51 cents to 26.63 cents/pound and September meal gained $2.6 to $327/ton.

Wheat futures followed other grains higher early Thursday as the world financial markets look to find equilibrium. Export sales expectations for the 7:30 a.m. report are 225,000 to 400,000 tonnes for 2015/16 wheat. Weather and spring wheat harvest progress appear to optimal and will likely limit near-term gains. Still, the Sep Chicago wheat contract is trading 17 cents higher than the low for the contract set early May 2015, at 4.74. September CBOT wheat futures lost 5.25 cents to $4.8975/bushel Wednesday, while Sep KC wheat rose 1.5 cents to $4.665/bushel, and September MWE slid 0.5 cents to $4.9625. 

October live cattle futures sank to new lows Wednesday, helped by a surging dollar and fund selling and falling below the previous low from Feb 2015. Boxed-beef values were lower as were OKC feeder steer values. October cattle dropped 1.67 cents to 142.32 cents/pound Tuesday, while April futures fell 2.02 cents to 142.90. Meanwhile, October feeder cattle futures dropped lower 4.65 cents to 194.90 cents/pound Tuesday, while January feeders lost 4.12 cents to 187.35.             

CME hogs corrected Wednesday after rising sharply the past two days in the face of the sell-off in the markets. The October contacts eased .25 cents yet strength in the lean hog index suggests futures may still see support in coming days. The expectation by traders of an imminent demand cliff, however, could limit near-term gains. Cash hog values were lower by 38 cents to 73.55. October hog futures lost .25 cents to 67 cents/pound Wednesday, while February slid 0.87 cents to 66.62.

The cotton market climbed early Thursday morning as China fears seem be subsiding for the moment. The tighter than expected balance sheet for cotton and the drop in the condition rating have given cotton bulls something to talk about as of late but world market problems are now the driver. While the global scene for cotton is largely still plagued by oversupply, the recent bullish data appears to be giving way to world economic and currency struggles, particularly related to Chinese demand fears. December cotton futures gained .60 cents to 63.11 cents/pound Thursday, while May rose 0.09 cents to 62.80.