The grain markets were mixed Thursday. Corn futures closed neutral although they rallied just over 8 cents earlier in the day. The markets seem to be in a tug-of-war as lower stocks data competes with the prospect of a warmer drier weather forecast. Old-crop corn export sales were at 331,100 tonnes, compared to the 325,000 to 525,000 tonnes the trade expected. New crop export sales were strong at 325,100 tonnes, compared to the 150,000-300,000 trade expectation. September corn futures gained .5 cents to $4.30/bushel at the close Thursday, while December rose .75 cents to $4.41.
Soyoil bounced in the overnight session after falling yesterday and soybeans and soymeal dropped. Above average rains in NOAA’s monthly forecast may support, or perhaps limit resistance to beans on Friday. According to the model, these rains , projected for August, could fall in Kansas, Missouri, and parts of southern Illinois. More rain in these areas could be like salt on the wound of what has turned out to be a difficult finish to soybean planting in these states. August soybeans are down 1.25 cents to $10.1775/bushel early Friday morning, while August soyoil raised 0.05 cents to 31.51 cents/pound and August meal fell $.2 to $363.4/ton.
World supplies and favorable U.S. weather has kept wheat futures lower early Friday morning. Consultancy Strategie cut the forecast for 2015 EU soft wheat by 0.7 million tonnes to 140.9 million tonnes, a 6% decline from last year. They also cut corn production by 0.7 million tonnes to 66.7 million tonnes, 12% lower than last year. September CBOT wheat futures fell 4.5 cents to $5.6225/bushel Thursday, while Sep KC wheat dropped 5.75 cents to $5.5325/bushel, and September MWE lost 7.5 cents to $5.82.
Live cattle futures continued lower Thursday and fell to a 13-month low as weak demand and protein alternatives continue to weigh on prices. Futures have fallen well below the 100-day moving average of 151 cents/pound and appear to be part of a technical breakdown that could see prices fall even lower. Boxed beef values dropped again today. August cattle lost.55 cents to 146.45 cents/pound Thursday, while December futures fell .92 to 151.35. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures fell .87 cents to 214.45 cents/pound, and November feeders dropped 1.37 to 208.50.
Trading was mixed Thursday as lean hog futures firmed nearby and weakened in the deferred months. This appears to be the opposite of the trend we saw after the June hogs and pigs report that implied a tightening of the sow supply in the fall. This could suggest that short-term supply projections may now be tightening and growing for fall. The lean hog index stayed neutral at 80.59 cents/pound. August hog futures gained .62 cents to 76 cents/pound Thursday, while December dropped .10 cents to 61.57.
ICE cotton was mixed Thursday and dropped overnight. Weather continues to be favorable for U.S cotton crop conditions and this was illustrated in the USDA’s 57% good-to-excellent rating this week, compared to 57% last week and 53% a year ago. News of the newly proposed world cotton contract is still generating some excitement though it is uncertain how helpful it will be in solving the deeper structural supply/demand issues plaguing this market. The trade will continue to monitor Chinese policy regarding their oversupply and will also keep an on eye on U.S. crop conditions. December cotton futures lost .24 cents to 65.00 cents/pound early Friday, while May fell .22 cents to 64.70.