Corn futures seemed to derive support from soybeans Wednesday night. There was little corn news overnight, but CBOT futures proved surprisingly firm in the wake of Wednesday’s drop. Traders seemed to be reacting to soybean firmness and to tentative chart support from the 20-day moving averages for the nearby contracts. March corn inched up 0.25 cent to $3.84/bushel early Thursday morning, while July rose 0.25 to $3.9925.
The soy complex trading quite mixed this morning. Numerous signs point to the robust strength of underlying demand for soybeans and meal. However, the advancing Brazilian harvest is adding substantially to global supplies and siphoning buyers from the U.S. Still, bean prices might be trending higher if not for the malign influence of the energy sector, where soyoil demand for biodiesel is suffering. March soybean futures stalled at $9.9575/bushel Wednesday night, while March soyoil fell 0.33 cents to 31.68 cents/pound, and March meal bounced $1.4 to $340.0/ton.
The wheat markets seemed to suffer a hangover from Wednesday. After tendering for U.S. wheat earlier in the week, Egyptian officials announced yesterday that they were cancelling the tender due to excessively high quotes from suppliers. Futures tumbled in response, since the announcement seemed to confirm that U.S. grain was priced out of the global market. The losses suffered overnight looked like follow-through selling. March CBOT wheat dropped 2.5 cents to $5.2525/bushel in early Thursday trading, while March KC wheat slid 2.75 cents to $5.4525/bushel, and March MWE wheat skidded 2.0 to $5.80.
Spot market strength likely boosted CME cattle Wednesday. Cash cattle prices posted an unexpected increase last week and choice grade beef quotes have subsequently advanced. Those events, as well as the cash market’s historical tendency to peak in the March-April period each year, made the discounts built into CME futures look too large. Futures rallied strongly and also ended the GLOBEX session well, suggesting a strong opening today. April cattle futures leapt 1.90 cents to 152.62 cents/pound in closing Wednesday action, while August cattle rallied 0.57 cents to 142.85 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures jumped 1.65 cents to 203.10 cents/pound and May feeders surged 1.27 to 201.35.
Hog traders seemed to be looking for proof of a bottom. Talk of fresh cash weakness and continuing losses by the CME lean hog index sent hog futures sharply lower again Tuesday. However, afternoon reports from Tuesday and Wednesday indicated much firmer cash and wholesale markets, thereby powering Wednesday gains and likely spurring buying this morning. April hog futures ended Wednesday having risen 0.22 cents to 64.22 cents/pound, while June hogs advanced 0.87 to 79.25.
ICE cotton dipped overnight. The global cotton market is well supplied, but U.S. exports have been strong in early 2015 and this year’s plantings are expected to fall sharply. Still, the latest New York rally may simply represent a response to extremely low stockpiles registered for delivery against ICE futures. Prices dipped overnight, but the current uptrend may not end until the March future expires on March 9. March cotton futures sank 0.20 cents to 64.42 cents/pound as Thursday dawned over New York, while the July contract slumped 0.22 to 65.50.