The corn market remained within this week’s narrow range overnight despite the big rebound in equity index futures. At this point the yellow grain market is struggling with a dearth of fresh news, with growing harvest pressure likely beginning to be felt. If the equity markets surge as strongly as implied by futures, that could give the commodity markets a week-ending boost. However, traders may remain cautious until next Wednesday’s release of the quarterly Grain Stocks and Small Grain Summary reports from the USDA. December corn futures edged up 1.75 cents at $3.8275/bushel Thursday night, while March rose 1.25 cents to $3.94.
Chinese buying is supporting the soy complex. China agreed to buy 484 million bushels (13.18 million tonnes) of US soybeans, mostly 2015/16, in an Iowa ceremony Thursday. Based on the 350 million bushel soybean export shortfall over last year, this now puts US soybean exports above pace. And while recent talk has centered upon record weakness in the Brazilian real and a big soybean production and export response from that country, news of a grain inspectors strike may offer short term support for the U.S. market. Overnight equity gains likely encouraged bulls as well. November soybeans rallied 6.0 cents to $8.74/bushel in early Friday action, while October soyoil jumped .59 cents to 27.57 cents/pound and October meal inched up $0.9 to $303.30/ton.
The wheat complex was lower overnight as the macro markets are weighing commodities to start the week. STATS Canada will issue their all-wheat stocks report Thursday with trade estimates falling to 6.5 million tonnes, down 37% from a year ago. The trade awaits the release of export inspections data released mid-morning Monday as well the September WASDE due out a week from this Friday. September CBOT wheat futures lost 3 cents to $4.74/bushel early Monday, while Sep KC wheat fell 1.25 cents to $4.565/bushel, and September MWE dropped 0.5 cents to $4.90.
Live cattle futures were down limit much of the morning Thursday but managed to bounce from the lows and end the day mixed. Heavy weights, large supplies, and weak demand have pushed prices to their lowest levels since early 2014. Choice beef fell 3.34 to 214.85 and select fell 1.89 to 211.62 cents/pound. October cattle dropped 1.40 cents/pound to 130.70 at Thursday’s close, while December cattle lost 0.55 cents to 134.00. October feeder cattle gained .85 cents to 180.10 cents/pound at the close Thursday, while January feeders moved 0.97 cents higher to 171.65.
Lean hog futures traded mixed Thursday, with the nearby contracts higher and the deferred contracts starting next May being lower. Pork supplies were larger than expected, according to the Cold Storage report, which could limit upside potential. The supply outlook will be better defined when the USDA releases its quarterly Hogs & Pigs report, at 2:00 p.m. CDT. Cash hogs were .80 cents higher to 68.76 and the lean hog index also rose by .43%. October hog futures were 0.85 cents higher at 71.65 cents/pound Thursday at the close, while Dec hogs were climbed 1.35 to 65.82.
Cotton futures began the week higher Monday despite Chinese stocks closing lower, perhaps on month-end positioning. The tighter than expected balance sheet for cotton and the drop in the condition rating have given cotton bulls something to talk about as of late but world market problems are now the driver. While the global scene for cotton is largely still plagued by oversupply, the recent bullish data appears to be giving way to world economic and currency struggles, particularly related to Chinese demand fears. December cotton futures lost .13 cents to 63.13 cents/pound Friday, while Mar rose 0.17 cents to 62.85.