Today's export data seemed to disappoint corn traders. Corn futures proved surprisingly strong Wednesday night, but proved able to sustain minimal gains this morning. That seemingly reflected the results of the weekly USDA Export Sales report. Both the new and old crop results fell within the range of forecasts, but the reductions from recent results may have spurred selling. May corn rose 2.25 cents at $4.98/bushel late Thursday morning, while December added 2.75 to $4.9975.
An industry forecast probably boosted the soy complex. Soybean and product futures had risen significantly in overnight action, but prices weakened in apparent response to the export data. However, a private report cutting the firm's Brazilian harvest forecast seemed to spur fresh gains. Oil defied the early decline in apparent response to the looming Senate vote aimed at restoring tax breaks for biodiesel producers. May soybeans climbed 7.25 cents to $14.695/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May soyoil surged 0.67 cents to 41.52 cents/pound, and May soymeal bounced $1.5 to $478.0/ton.
Renewed drought talk may be supporting the wheat markets. Improved precipitation prospects for the U.S. and Australia have powered the recent drop in wheat prices. However, the latest reports indicate the southern Plains remain very dry, which is reportedly playing a role in boosting wheat futures at the various exchanges. The weekly export data looked neutral. May CBOT wheat futures gained 5.5 cents to $6.7475/bushel in Thursday morning action, while May KCBT wheat futures inched up 0.75 cents to $7.395 and May MWE futures rose 3.75 cents to $7.26.
Cattle futures are rising from discounted levels. CME futures are trading at sizeable discounts to recent cash quotes. Thus, recent wholesale firmness is suggesting the widely anticipated seasonal drop in country values may be delayed and/or prove small than generally believed. That may explain current firmness in the Chicago pit. June cattle futures rallied 0.37 cents to 137.15 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while December lifted 0.35 to 140.62. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle jumped 2.32 cents to 180.30 cents/pound, and August leapt 2.12 to 181.70.
Cash and wholesale weakness is weighing upon the hog market. Although the hog and pork situation now seems extremely tight, many in the industry are not convinced prices can be sustained at current extraordinary highs. Wednesday's country hog losses and morning pork weakness are adding to those concerns. June hog futures dove 0.90 cents to 123.90 cents/pound late Thursday morning, and December lost 0.02 to 91.37.