International news seemed to depress the crop markets Wednesday night. The FAO stated overnight that it expects 2013/14 world cereal production to rise 0.5% to 2.492 billion tonnes, which may have offset talk that China could import 20-30 million tonnes of corn during the coming weeks. Bears may also have been reacting to news that China had sold 417,448 tonnes of soybeans out of its state reserves. December corn slipped 2.25 cent to $4.6725/bushel early Thursday morning, while July dipped 2.0 cents to $4.95.
The soy complex resumed its Wednesday decline overnight. Soybean futures had rebounded somewhat from earlier losses Wednesday evening, but later turned lower once again. That may have marked a reaction to forecasts for rising Malaysian palm oil production and stocks. However, the main driver of the slide may have come from China, where officials announced that they had sold 417,448 tonnes of beans from state reserves. Industry sources also suggested China's soy imports will slow during autumn. November soybeans fell 10.25 cents to $13.4225/bushel in early Thursday action, while October soyoil skidded 0.19 cents to 43.44 cents/pound, and October soymeal lost $3.4 to $424.6/ton.
The wheat markets proved surprisingly firm Thursday morning. Despite concurrent corn and soybean losses, wheat futures were mixed in early trading. The FAO report was not helpful either. Ultimately, news of significant Japanese and South Korean buying of North American wheat probably supported prices. December CBOT wheat declined 2.0 cents to $6.4425/bushel just after dawn Thursday, while December KCBT wheat edged 0.5 cent lower to $6.975 and December MGE futures crept up 1.0 cent to $7.23.
Cattle futures sagged again in early Thursday trading. The persistent weakness is rather surprising, since wholesale beef posted slight gains Wednesday afternoon. Traders looking for a sizeable seasonal advance may have been disappointed by the modest nature of the beef price increase. October cattle futures declined 0.07 cents to 125.92 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while December slumped 0.05 cents to 129.85. October feeder cattle slipped 0.02 cents to 159.22 cents/pound, while January added 0.22 cents to 158.87.
Tight supplies and hopes for a September bounce boosted hog futures. Both the cash and wholesale markets posted modest gains Wednesday, which probably represented a response to recent reductions in apparent hog supplies. Traders are very likely looking for much more of the same during the first half of September. October hog futures rallied 0.72 cents to 89.85 cents/pound in early Thursday action, while December advanced 0.55 cents to 86.40.
Cotton futures were mixed overnight. After inching upward from three-month lows Wednesday, cotton futures seemed to be searching for supportive news. The news they got, that Indian exports seemed likely to decline 22% this year due to reduced Chinese buying, wasn't particular supportive, since it implies relatively large Indian stockpiles and diminished Chinese demand. December cotton futures edged 0.09 cents higher to 82.84 cents/pound around sunrise Thursday, while March slid 0.06 to 82.26.