Talk of large supply is weighing on corn futures. The outstanding start for the 2015 U.S. corn crop is clearly depressing new-crop price prospects. But outside events aren’t helping. For example, a well-connected Chinese think tank CNGOIC stated overnight that they expect a record China harvest and greatly reduced imports this year. July corn futures sagged 2.25 cents to $3.645/bushel early Thursday morning, while December lost 1.5 to $3.81.
The soy complex traded mixed Wednesday night. Soybean oil futures set back from big early-week gains yesterday and continued sliding overnight; that apparently tracked a similar reversal in the crude market. In contrast, beans and meal posted modest overnight gains, which we suspect reflected ongoing concerns about labor strife in the South American soy industry. July soybean futures edged up 0.5 cent to $9.83/bushel shortly after sunrise Thursday, while July soyoil dipped 0.07 cents to 32.85 cents/pound, and July meal bounced $1.3 to $315.5/ton.
The wheat markets are trying to build upon Wednesday’s rebound. The low results of the first day of the Wheat Quality Council’s annual wheat tour boosted futures yesterday, but prices proved mixed overnight. That may reflect the well-supplied global situation, as well as somewhat better readings from fields on the second day. July CBOT wheat futures gained 1.0 cent to $4.8025/bushel Wednesday night, while July KC wheat rose 2.5 cents to $5.06/bushel, and July MWE wheat moved up 2.25 to $5.41.
Cattle futures gave back Tuesday’s gains. Trader ideas that short-term beef buying might boost cattle prices apparently powered this week’s early rally, but late Tuesday news of declining beef cutouts ran counter to that narrative. Wednesday’s CME reversal wasn’t terribly surprising when seen in that light. Afternoon beef slippage from midday also suggested early Thursday weakness. June live cattle futures sank 1.22 cents to 150.22 at Wednesday’s CME close, while August cattle slumped 0.97 to 148.92. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures fell 0.87 cents to 214.50 cents/pound, and August feeders dove 1.37 to 216.87.
Rising spot prices continued powering the CME hog rally Wednesday. Cash hog and wholesale pork values built upon recent strength again yesterday, with seasonal demand strength and supply declines pointing to more of the same. Although spring-summer futures premiums look quite large, the market still seems deeply depressed by historical standards. Late-day reports suggest a strong Thursday open. June hog futures closed 1.30 cents higher at 84.05 cents/pound Wednesday, while December rallied 0.72 to 70.20.
Pragmatic considerations may be weighing on cotton futures. Most-active July cotton futures failed at 10-day moving average support Wednesday, thereby seeming to set the stage for follow-through losses. The fact that the equity markets fell significantly yesterday and seem likely open quite weakly again this morning may also have weighed upon fiber prices overnight. July cotton slumped 0.22 cents to 65.64 in early Thursday
trading, while December futures slid 0.17 to 65.60.