Ag markets were decidedly mixed in Wednesday night action

Crop futures slipped again Wednesday night. The crop markets mounted a modest comeback from recent harvest-driven losses yesterday. The bounce may have been a response to the weather system now moving across the Midwest, since that will delay harvesting somewhat. However, corn and beans declined again overnight. December corn futures dipped 0.75 cent to $3.205/bushel in early Thursday action, while May lost 0.5 to $3.4225.

Big energy losses may be depressing the bean and oil markets. The soy complex also built upon yesterday's gains last night, but turned lower in the early morning hours. That probably reflects sizeable losses in the petroleum markets, particularly with palm oil also coming under pressure. Most meal contracts edged slightly higher. November soybean futures slid 2.25 cents to $9.145/bushel in predawn Thursday trading, while December soyoil fell 0.36 cents to 32.44 cents/pound, whereas December soymeal rose $0.4 to $299.0/ton.

Talk of reduced Russian selling seems to be supporting the wheat markets. Wheat futures rebounded from Wednesday's low and are proving able to build upon the late-session firmness today. Wire service sources cited a recent lack of Russian sales for the lack, since that has seemingly caused the global situation to tighten. December CBOT wheat gained 2.5 cents to $4.815/bushel early Thursday morning, while December KC wheat climbed 4.0 cents to $5.615/bushel, and December MWE wheat rose 4.0 to $5.3575.

Cattle traders apparently expect cash strength. Despite little news and modest beef gains Wednesday, live cattle futures leapt higher and built upon those gains overnight. That strength is very likely anticipating a fresh cash market advance today or tomorrow. December live cattle futures surged 0.77 cents to 166.67 cents/pound Wednesday night, while April futures jumped 0.77 to 164.32. Meanwhile, November feeder futures rocketed up 2.37 cents to 240.42 cents/pound and January feeders soared 2.17 to 233.95.

Concerns about fourth-quarter prospects are still depressing hog futures. The cash and wholesale markets proved mixed to weak Wednesday, thereby seeming to justify the bearishness that infected nearby futures at that time. Traders worry about a big seasonal breakdown into the holiday season. December hogs dropped 0.67 cents to 94.20 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while April slipped 0.05 to 91.62.

USDA news may be weighing on cotton futures. The 2013/14 cotton season was marked by industry problems getting cotton out of domestic warehouses in a timely manner, which probably tended to support prices. The USDA responded to requests from mills by saying it would increase its scrutiny of warehouses. Little may happen on that front, but the USDA attention may cause shippers to accelerate their efforts, thereby increasing domestic supplies. December cotton futures sagged 0.06 cents to 62.12 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while March futures sank 0.33 cents to 60.66.


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