Accelerating plantings seemed to weigh on grain futures. Today’s USDA Export Sales data may have disappointed bulls. Talk of accelerating planting as fine weather dominates the Midwest also seemed to dominate in Chicago, but bears could also point to a wire service story indicating a likely rise in Brazil’s ‘second crop’ production. May corn futures settled down 1.25 cents at $3.625/bushel Thursday, while December lost 2.0 to $3.8325.
The soy complex also turned mostly lower. Argentine strike news, the falling U.S. dollar and technical factors powered sizeable midweek soy gains. However, beans reversed this morning, with mixed export sales results seeming to rob the market of bullish momentum. Rising global supplies were reportedly behind today’s reversal. Conversely, the big advance posted by energy futures spilled into nearby soyoil futures. May soybean futures ended Thursday having fallen 10.0 cents to $9.785/bushel, while May soyoil bounced 0.04 cents to 31.51 cents/pound, and May meal slumped $5.3 to $318.9/ton.
The wheat markets fell rather sharply Thursday. Rapid spring wheat plantings apparently undercut wheat futures, but export news probably caused today’s drop. The Export Sales report indicated a 449,200 net reduction in old crop sales, as cancellations overwhelmed new transactions. Russian statements on ending their export tariff probably added to the price pressure. May CBOT wheat futures tumbled 10.25 cents to $4.67/bushel at Thursday’s close, while May KC wheat dropped 10.5 cents to $4.9025/bushel, and May MWE wheat sank 12.0 to $5.2325.
Spot market concerns may have depressed cattle futures. Beef cutout values were quoted mixed-to-higher early this week, but today’s emerging weakness seemed to undercut CME futures. The Chicago market seemed to suffer an inordinate bearish reaction, with traders apparently focusing upon the possibility of a sizeable cash market decline before the weekend. June live cattle futures dove 1.20 cents to 149.70 cents/pound in late Thursday action, while August cattle fell 1.05 to 148.10. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures slipped 0.07 cents to 212.97 cents/pound, and August feeders stabilized at 214.70.
Cattle losses dragged hogs lower as well. Cash hog prices reportedly continued their ongoing surge this morning, and midsession pork quotes also indicated big gains. And while the nearby May contract remained strong, deferred hog futures suffered a dramatic late morning reversal. That almost surely reflects industry concerns about the negative impact of a big spring-summer drop in cattle prices. June hog futures jumped had declined 0.15 cents to 81.05 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, and December sagged 0.42 to 68.57.