Corn futures bounced from early Thursday losses. The early-morning CONAB data concerning Brazilian corn production seemed to exert little impact upon prices. The weekly Export Sales report stated last week's U.S. corn sales well below expectations, thereby triggering active Chicago sales. However, the market rebounded strongly as the morning passed. July corn had climbed 2.0 cents to $5.16/bushel by late Thursday morning, while December rose 1.25 cents to $5.1075.
Export news boosted the soy complex Thursday. Soybean and product prices proved firm this morning despite a modest increase in CONAB's latest estimate for Brazilian production; pre-report estimates were generally higher. The weekly Export Sales report looked supportive, but the real driver of today's early gains was a daily USDA report of 140,000 tonnes to an unknown destination. That suggests export demand remains viable. July soybeans jumped 21.0 cents to $14.6725/bushel around midsession Thursday, while July soyoil advanced 0.26 cents to 41.09 cents/pound, and July soymeal surged $6.9 to $481.8/ton.
Diminished Black Sea tensions may be undercutting the wheat markets. Talk that Russian forces had pulled back from its Ukraine border yesterday afternoon has seemingly reduced tensions in the Black Sea region. Bullish profit-taking ahead of tomorrow's WASDE report has probably come into the markets as well. July CBOT wheat futures sagged 2.25 cents to $7.355/bushel in late Thursday morning action, while July KCBT wheat futures dipped 0.5 cent to $8.41, and July MWE futures stumbled 1.75 to $8.0475.
Talk of cash firmness may be supporting cattle futures. As usual, cash cattle trading has been at a standstill so far this week. Bears might easily assume weak beef quotes will force feedlot managers to lower their asking prices accordingly, but the fact that they have held the line so far suggests the country markets won't be as weak as packers hope. That would explain today's early CME firmness. June cattle edged up 0.30 cents to 137.87 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while December stalled at 144.20. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle slumped 0.47 cents to 190.20 cents/pound, and October lost 0.77 cents to 190.75.
Cash and wholesale slippage continue weighing on CME hogs. The hog and pork complex has remained relatively weak after pork values plummeted Tuesday. Bulls have to worry that prices will continue declining from record highs during May, thereby contradicting the traditional spring rally. June hog futures fell 1.10 cents to 120.07 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while December dropped 0.97 cents to 93.82.
Cotton rallied on weekly export news Thursday morning. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week's cotton total, at 63,800 bales, far above the week-prior result; it topped the four-week average by 11%. That news almost surely sparked today's early advance, whereas the crop outlook probably supported new crop prices. July cotton rallied 1.08 cents lower at 93.63 cents/pound shortly before midday Thursday, while December cotton rose 0.27 to 84.18.