The crop markets showed early Thursday strength. The U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) reduced its prediction for 2014 small grain carryout approximately 2 percent overnight, which probably supported the crop markets. When combined with talk that the storm system now moving across the Great Plains will bring strong winds with it, thereby posing a danger to drying corn stalks, traders viewed the news as supportive of corn prices. December corn futures inched up 1.0 cent to $4.40 just before lunchtime Thursday, while May added 1.0 cent to $4.6075/bushel.
The soy complex built upon Wednesday night gains. Although the FAO's small grains report didn't apply to soybeans, it also seemed to encourage bulls in the legume market. Talk of the Corn Belt may also have sparked buying, since it could cause significant delays in the soybean harvest. November soybeans surged 10.5 cents to $12.8425/bushel late Thursday morning, while December soyoil bounced 0.58 cents to 39.96 cents/pound, and December soymeal ran up $3.5 to $415.2/ton.
The ongoing wheat rally persisted Thursday. The FAO's forecast of a lower global small grains carryout next year very likely encouraged fresh wheat buying this morning. That seems especially apt in the current environment, where so many interests are apparently seeing vigorous export demand boost golden grain prices. December CBOT wheat advanced 9.0 cents to $6.95 bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while December KCBT wheat gained 4.75 cents to $7.5925, and December MGE futures climbed 8.25 cents to $7.55.
Cattle futures proved rather weak in early Thursday trading. The lack of USDA information continues hampering the livestock markets, with many traders apparently opting to stand aside at this time. Still, there are private sources of information available (for a price). Wire service sources suggest pessimism about this week's cash market outlook is weighing upon CME prices at this point. December cattle futures slipped 0.05 cents to 131.77 cents/pound around midsession Thursday, while April sank 0.25 cents to 134.67. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle slid 0.32 cents to 165.87 cents/pound, and January sagged 0.35 to 165.42.
Hog futures moved mostly higher before noon. Again, the lack of USDA news is very likely limiting activity in the hog pit. Still, talk of steady prices at the various country markets probably supported CME prices. We also suspect wholesale pork prices held up well Wednesday. December hog futures rallied 0.70 cents to 86.87 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while April lifted 0.52 cents to 89.72.