Brazilian news may have outweighed Thursday’s Export Sales data. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week’s corn total well above industry expectations, but that supportive news seemingly did little to offset the bearish impact of overnight Brazilian data. That is, while that country’s CONAB agency cut its 2015 production estimate, the result was far above the USDA result posted Tuesday. Futures are apparently declining in response. March corn dipped 1.75 cents to $3.84/bushel around midsession Thursday, while July lost 1.75 to $3.995.
Demand concerns seemed to stifle soy complex gains. CONAB officials reduced their estimate of that country’s forthcoming soybean harvest 1.3 million to 94.6 million tonnes, which essentially matched the latest USDA forecast. The Export Sales report looked quite supportive of the legume market, but bulls couldn’t sustain the initial bullish response. CBOT futures are mixed, but traders concerns about a buyer shift to South American product reportedly hampered bullish efforts. March soybean futures gained 4.25 cents to $9.82/bushel late Thursday morning, while March soyoil moved up 0.16 cents to 31.91 cents/pound, and March meal rose $1.2 to $330.8/ton.
Fund selling is apparently depressing the wheat markets. News of a sizeable Japanese buying tender, sustained Russian tariffs on wheat headed for Egypt and a decent result on the Export Sales report all seemed supportive of the wheat markets this morning. Nevertheless, futures declined significantly this morning. Wire service sources cited active fund selling, but one has to wonder if some other factor is in play. March CBOT wheat slumped 5.0 cents to $5.2075/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while March KC wheat sank 4.0 cents to $5.5525/bushel, and March MWE wheat sagged 1.0 to $5.75.
Wholesale strength probably boosted cattle futures Thursday morning. Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday, especially when viewed within the context of substantial beef cutout gains posted later in the day. CME traders may now be harboring ideas that the drop was overdone, since the Chicago market exhibited considerable strength this morning. April live cattle futures rebounded 0.47 cents to 151.57 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while August cattle climbed 0.47 cents to 142.25 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures advanced 0.67 cents to 199.42 cents/pound and May feeders surged 1.05 to 199.32.
Bullish expectations may be boosting CME hogs. The pork market remained firm through the end of Wednesday’s trading, thereby seeming to spark a bounce that began in the GLOBEX session and resumed this morning. Today’s midsession spot quotes weren’t at all helpful, but futures seemingly ignored the negative news. That makes one suspect the industry is beginning to expect a sharp reversal once the West Coast port situation is resolved. April hog futures jumped 1.17 cents to 65.00 cents/pound as Thursday’s lunch hour loomed, while June hogs leapt 1.27 to 78.50.
Cotton traders seemingly anticipated the poor export sales result. The weekly Export Sales report stated last week’s cotton result at just 52,200 bales, which fell drastically below the huge total posted the week prior. The muted ICE market reaction to the news strongly suggests traders expected a big slowdown, although concurrent equity market strength and U.S. dollar weakness may also have encouraged buying. March cotton futures slid 0.06 cents to 61.96 cents/pound shortly after noon (EST) Thursday, while the July contract rose 0.12 to 62.81.