Corn continued following wheat higher Thursday morning. Today’s weather-driven wheat rally seemed to spill over into the corn market, with traders now apparently worried about excessive spring rainfall. Also, a private forecast of corn plantings below USDA estimates may also have encouraged bulls in the yellow grain market. The Export Sales data seemed disappointing. July corn futures gained 5.0 cents to $3.6725/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, while December added 4.75 to $3.8325.
The soy complex continues trading in mixed fashion. Soybean and meal futures continue struggling in the wake of Tuesday’s WASDE report and bearish CBOT reaction. A late forecast for increased Argentine production isn’t helping the bullish cause, although optimists could point to recent U.S. dollar losses as providing underlying support. Ultimately, talk of larger harvests and burgeoning supplies is weighing on the complex, with recent crude and palm oil strength also supporting soyoil quotes. July soybean futures edged up 2.25 cents to $9.595/bushel Wednesday night, while July soyoil advanced 0.15 cents to 33.39 cents/pound, and July meal slipped $0.1 to $302.3/ton.
The wheat markets posted impressive overnight gains. Although U.S. wheat still seems uncompetitive with European and Black Sea quotes in many regions, overnight news of a sizeable Japanese purchase of American and Australian wheat, as well as a Taiwan tender for U.S. grain, appeared to boost prices. Recent U.S. dollar losses are probably encouraging export interest. July CBOT wheat futures climbed 6.0 cents to $4.875/bushel shortly after sunrise Thursday, while July KC wheat rallied 4.75 cents to $5.1425/bushel, and July MWE wheat rose 4.0 to $5.44.
Cattle futures performed surprisingly well. Wholesale beef prices have remained quite strong lately, which probably reflects grocery industry buying for planned Memorial Day features. The industry expects prices to slide later this month, but having futures already trading at substantial discounts may have opened the door for today’s climb. The afternoon beef news was quite good, thereby implying early Thursday strength. June live cattle futures settled 0.50 cents higher at 151.97 cents/pound Wednesday afternoon, while August cattle ran up 1.00 to 150.65 Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures jumped 1.17 cents to 217.62 cents/pound, and November feeders vaulted 1.30 to 214.67.
Weak midday quotes capped Wednesday hog rallies. Tuesday’s strong performance and big afternoon pork gains seemed to set the stage for a follow-through surge in CME hogs. That didn’t happen, with most contracts trading underwater all morning. Futures were coming back, but surprising cash and wholesale weakness on the midday reports apparently capped rally attempts. Mixed-to-weak afternoon quotes suggest a feeble opening again today. June hog futures stumbled 0.27 cents lower to 84.77 cents/pound at Wednesday’s CME close, while December sagged 0.55 to 70.05.