Ag markets moved generally lower Thursday

Weather news seemed to spur corn selling Thursday. The corn results on the weekly USDA Export Sales report largely met expectations, so it had little impact upon CBOT prices. However, futures turned decisively lower in apparent response to the latest weather forecasts. That is, traders think this week's rain and next week's planting window will allow farmers to complete seedings in short order and help get the crop of to a great start. July corn fell 11.25 cents to $4.8425/bushel Thursday afternoon, while December lost 8.5 cents to $4.805.

NOPA crush data weighed upon the soy complex. Although the weekly export data seemed supportive of the soybean and product markets, those were mixed to lower in early trading. Traders may have been squaring positions ahead of the monthly NOPA Crush report released at 11:00 CDT. That was seen as rather bearish, with bean futures turning decisively lower soon thereafter. July soybeans tumbled 16.5 cents to $14.7025/bushel as Thursday's pit session ended, while July soyoil dipped 0.34 to 41.04 cents/pound, and July soymeal slumped $5.1 to $481.4/ton.

Exports and weather apparently depressed wheat markets. The old-crop Export Sales data probably disappointed wheat traders Thursday morning. When combined with suspicions that this week's rains are boosting winter wheat production potential and next week's dryness will spur torrid new crop planting, the data helped send wheat futures sharply lower once again. July CBOT wheat futures dove 12.0 cents to $6.7825/bushel at Thursday's settlement, while July KCBT wheat futures plummeted 27.5 cents to $7.7875, and July MWE futures plunged 23.25 to $7.55.

Slipping beef quotes left most cattle contracts sliding Thursday. Despite recent cash market firmness, cattle traders expect a sizeable seasonal drop during the days and weeks ahead. The beef slippage seen late Wednesday and again at midsession today seemingly reinforced that pessimism. June cattle settled down 0.05 cents to 137.40 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December fell 0.72 to 144.22. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle skidded 0.02 cents to 192.42 cents/pound, and October slid 0.30 cents to 193.32.

Premiums built into hog futures may have handicapped CME bulls. Cash hog and pork prices rose moderately Wednesday, which rather clearly supported CME futures. Cash quotes were largely unavailable this morning, but pork cutout kept rising. Nevertheless, Chicago prices suffered significant losses. That may reflect the simple fact that futures are already trading well above country values. June hogs plunged 1.15 cents to 119.42 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, whereas December gained 0.57 cents to 93.87.


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