Corn is trying to break out above $4.00/bushel. Although Wednesday’s USDA WASDE report had mixed domestic and international market implications, price are rallying this morning. The weekly Export Sales result was supportive, but not outstanding. Moving average support and big equity gains are probably encouraging bulls, but March faces chart resistance at $4.00/bushel. March corn futures rose 3.25 cents to $3.97/bushel late Thursday morning, while July added 2.5 to $4.11.
Beans are up despite Thursday’s weak export results. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated soybean and product movements at the low end of industry expectations, which might have undercut the markets. Nevertheless, the soy complex is trading strongly once again, with the underlying belief in the strength of underlying demand likely powering the rise. January soybean futures advanced 12.25 cents to $10.4225/bushel around midsession Thursday, while January soyoil rallied 0.24 cents to 31.99 cents/pound, and January meal climbed $5.6 to $374.7/ton.
The wheat markets are proving surprisingly firm. The glutted global wheat situation was reemphasized by yesterdays’ WASDE report and by this morning’s news that the U.S. was once again shut out of a sizeable Egyptian tender. Nevertheless, the futures markets were mixed late this morning. That probably reflects ideas that global protein demand remains very strong, as well as concurrent bean and corn gains. March CBOT wheat rallied 2.5 cents to $5.8425/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, while March KC wheat bounced 2.0 cents to $6.195/bushel and March MWE wheat gained 2.0 to $6.065.
Cash weakness is again weighing on CME cattle prices. Panhandle cattle didn’t trade last week, which probably put added pressure upon regional prices as a result. Wire services reported a plunge from $172.00/cwt (cents/pound) two weeks ago to $164 this morning. That’s about $2.00 lower than last week’s Nebraska prices, so traders are almost looking for sustained weakness before the weekend. February live cattle dipped 0.12 cents to 162.72 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while April tumbled 0.40 to 162.50. January feeder cattle futures plunged 3.00 cents to 228.60 cents/pound, as did January feeders, to 224.25.
The hog and pork complex continues struggling. After inching higher the past two days, the CME lean hog index is now expected the slip when officially quoted tomorrow. Given the futures slippage and the discounts already built into early-2015 futures, traders apparently expect a glut of supply and weak demand during the coming weeks and months. February hog futures drooped 0.20 cents at 84.35 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while June hogs fell 0.60 cents to 92.05.
The export sales data boosted cotton futures Thursday morning. Having the USDA cut its estimates of U.S. cotton production and carryout seemingly set the stage for today’s bullish reaction to the Export Sales report. It stated last week’s total, at 199,200 bales 19% over the week prior figure, thereby seeming to spark ICE futures gains. March cotton futures jumped 1.10 cents to 60.67 cents/pound shortly before noon (EST) Thursday, while the July contract ran up 1.17 to 62.09.