Corn futures are trading higher at midday. Futures were higher on stronger-than-expected export sales totaling 37.8 million bushels for the current marketing year. China bought one cargo. While only a couple million bushels, the sale suggests that China may bid for corn on setbacks. In addition, freezing temperatures the past couple of mornings may have damaged some early planted corn. May corn is 7 1/4 cents higher at $6.43 1/4 and December is 1 1/2 cents higher at $5.48 1/4.
Soybean futures are trading sharply higher at midsession. This morning USDA announced in its daily export sales reporting system old-crop sales of 55,000 tonnes to China and 79,000 tonnes to an unidentified destination. That eventually may be identified as China. These are unusually large sales to occur during April. The sales contradict market talk this week that soybean prices were too high and would be discouraging export sales. The May contract is up 19 cents at $14.41 and November is 15 cents higher at $13.74.
Wheat futures are trading higher at midday. CBOT is leading the way, with ideas that both exports and feed usage are strong on competitive pricing vs. corn. Another night of frost in parts of soft red winter wheat country is another element, although it’s still not seen as cutting yields appreciably at the national level. Outside markets are supportive today, especially since it was very negative outside market action that started the wave of selling on Tuesday despite price-friendly data from USDA in the April supply/demand report. Today’s wheat action is almost like a “delayed reaction” to Tuesday’s data. CBOT May is 14 3/4 cents higher at $6.42 3/4; KCBOT May is 6 3/4 cents higher at $6.50 3/4; and MGE May is 2 1/4 cents higher at $8.40 1/2.
Cattle futures are sharply higher at midday. Cattle futures garnered support from steady cash trade on Wednesday. There was concern that given packers financial stress, cash bids would be down this week. Weekly beef export sales were also strong which helped shore up demand concerns. After the steep selloff over the past several weeks, futures are deeply oversold and due for a bounce. June cattle futures are $2.20 higher at $121.15 and August is $2.15 higher at $120.20.
Lean hog futures are higher at midday. The pork cutout increased by $1.64 per cwt on Wednesday and that has been the key factor in the higher hog futures on Thursday. Traders have been hoping for any sign that hog prices are ready to turn higher and this increase in pork prices did the trick at least for Thursday. Higher prices for other commodities, big gains in the stock market and a weaker dollar were all also supportive for hog futures. The May contract is up 50 cents at $93.03. The June contract is 90 cents higher at $93.55.