Corn futures continued edging upward Wednesday night. Growing industry talk of reduced U.S. corn plantings appeared to boost the corn market once again last night. Wire service sources also cite technical factors for support. Having the market seem to ignore news that a South Korean firm had rejected offers on a sizeable corn tender was also encouraging. May corn futures gained 1.0 cent to $3.96/bushel early Thursday morning, while December corn added 1.0 to $4.19.
Rallying soyoil futures seems to be boosting soybeans. The South American soybean harvest continues and is likely acting as a drag on global soy prices. However, recent energy market firmness is being exaggerated after Saudi Arabia attacked Yemeni rebels overnight. Soyoil quoted followed crude oil higher, which in turn may have pulled bean futures upward. And while meal demand apparently remains robust, that market seems to be on the short leg of crush spreading at this point. May soybean futures rose 1.25 cents to $9.80/bushel in early Thursday action, while May soyoil advanced 0.37 cents 31.41 cents/pound, but May meal slipped $0.4 to $324.1/ton.
The wheat markets proved surprisingly strong overnight. Russian officials reportedly boosted their forecasts for that nation’s 2015 grain production from 84 to 93 million tonnes, which was hardly bullish for global prices. Nevertheless, futures posted significant gains last night in the face of improved precipitation forecasts for the Plains. Traders cite technical support, but ongoing U.S. dollar losses are probably encouraging bulls as well. May CBOT wheat rallied 4.0 cents to $5.23/bushel, while May KC wheat lifted 1.5 cents to $5.645/bushel, and May MWE wheat edged up 2.25 to $5.83.
The cattle rally seemingly stalled Wednesday. Cash strength has recently powered nearby cattle futures upward from discounted levels. Wholesale news also helped earlier this week. However, grocers tend to curtail their buying late each month, which may explain bulls’ inability to sustain the rally Wednesday. Conversely, late afternoon reports pointed to big beef gains, which bodes well for today’s opening. April cattle futures closed down 0.27 cents to 161.72 cents/pound Wednesday, while August cattle dropped 0.72 at 149.60 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures dove 1.67 cents to 217.25 cents/pound, and August feeders fell 1.50 to 217.75.
Supply concerns probably worried hog traders. The nearby April hog contract started the day firmly, thereby appearing to reflect ideas that the months-long price decline may soon end. Premiums built into the summer contracts apparently rendered them vulnerable to selling based on forecasts for huge hog numbers on Friday’s quarterly USDA Hogs & Pigs report, but prices staged an impressive comeback late in the day. Afternoon GLOBEX firmness despite weak spot market quotes suggests a firm opening today. April hog futures climbed 1.22 cents to 59.82 cents/pound at the CME close, while June hogs skidded 0.07 to 74.60.
Equity weakness continued weighing on cotton values. After seeming to fail at technical resistance around the 64.00-cent level earlier this week, cotton futures slipped again Wednesday night. Although current U.S. dollar weakness seems supportive, the fact that the equity markets are proving surprisingly weak appears to be depressing the fiber market. May cotton skidded 0.11 cents to 63.05 shortly after sunrise Thursday, while December futures slid 0.34 to 63.95.