Corn futures turned lower Thursday. After exhibiting considerable strength over the past week, corn futures declined today. That may have reflected long liquidation before the weekend and next Tuesday’s big USDA reports, but traders may also have been reacting to recent equity market losses, as well as the morning rebound by the U.S. dollar. The latest stock market bounce seemed to have little effect. May corn futures ended Thursday having sagged 3.75 cents to $3.9125/bushel, while December dipped 3.25 to $4.1475.
The soy complex ended Thursday on a mixed note. Soybean and product futures traded firmly Wednesday night despite the South American production surge. Bulls also had to be encouraged by the weekly USDA Export Sales report, since sales of beans and products almost unanimously topped expectations. And yet, futures turned mostly lower, with crude oil strength supporting soyoil quotes. Midsession equity losses and the concurrent U.S. dollar rebound, as well as talk of bearish acreage numbers on next Tuesday’s USDA report, may have sparked sales. May soybean futures settled 4.25 cents lower at $9.745/bushel Thursday afternoon, while May soyoil gained 0.13 cents 31.17 cents/pound, and May meal slumped $2.1 to $322.4/ton.
The Export Sales report seemed bearish for the wheat markets. Wheat futures rebounded slightly from recent losses Wednesday night, but suffered a negative reaction to the USDA Export Sales report, since the stated 102,300-tonne weekly result marked a low for the 2014/15 marketing year. Today’s dollar rebound and wet weather forecasts may also have spurred selling. News that Russia may remove its wheat export tax in July probably encouraged bears as well. May CBOT wheat plunged 19.75 cents to $4.9925/bushel as Thursday’s pit session ended, while May KC wheat dove 20.0 cents to $5.43/bushel, and May MWE wheat tumble 17.5 to $5.6325.
Cattle futures responded poorly to Wednesday’s beef surge. CME traders seemed optimistic about short-term cattle prospects early this week, so a bullish reaction to Wednesday’s big wholesale advance seemed likely. Instead, futures turned downward from their firm opening, which may have reflected fresh doubts about the outcome of this week’s cash trading. April cattle futures slipped 0.05 cents to 161.67 cents/pound in late Thursday action, while August cattle stumbled 0.55 lower to 149.05 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures skidded 0.02 cents to 217.22 cents/pound, and August feeders sank 0.55 to 217.20.
Wholesale strength probably spurred Chicago hog buying. The cash hog markets remained weak Wednesday and reportedly continued sliding this morning. However, pork cutout values reversed strongly to the upside, which seemed to be what bullish CME traders were looking for, since the nearby contracts turned sharply higher. Seasonal factors seem to point to higher levels. April hog futures climbed 1.15 cents to 60.97 cents/pound at Thursday’s CME close, while June hogs rallied 0.55 to 75.15.