South Korean buying seemingly boosted corn futures Wednesday night. Persistent protests that are part of Brazil’s truckers strike reportedly spurred fresh buying in the soy complex last night, which likely caused spillover buying in the corn pit. Bulls may also have been reacting to news of a 120,000-tonne corn purchase made by a big South Korean firm. March corn futures gained 3.5 cents at $3.7925/bushel as Thursday dawned over Chicago, while July added 3.75 to $3.955.
The soy complex moved unanimously higher. Although Brazilian officials cracked down on the ongoing truckers strike Wednesday, disruptions reportedly continued this morning. That news apparently played a sizeable role in the across-the-board gains posted by beans and meal overnight. Nearby bean futures also enjoy substantial moving average support at slightly lower levels. March soybean futures climbed 7.0 cents to $10.1475/bushel Wednesday night, while March soyoil rallied 0.19 cents to 31.90 cents/pound, and March meal rose $1.7 to $352.2/ton.
The wheat markets generally slipped overnight. Traders remain skeptical of the attractiveness of U.S. wheat at current prices, particularly with the global market essentially being glutted at present. And despite recent talk of winter freeze, many see current winter wheat conditions as being relatively good. Thus, prices moved mostly lower last night. March CBOT wheat stalled at $4.9775/bushel early Thursday morning, while March KC wheat slipped 0.25 cent to $5.28/bushel, and March MWE wheat skidded 1.5 to $5.5125.
Cattle futures reacted belatedly to beef gains. Wholesale beef prices surged early this week and followed through yesterday, thereby suggesting recent talk of reduced interest from consumers and export customers has been greatly exaggerated. That would seemingly explain the rebound from Tuesday’s fresh 2015 lows. Futures’ large discounts to recent cash quotes also look quite large. Afternoon GLOBEX gains imply fresh strength on today’s opening. April cattle futures jumped 1.27 cents to 146.85 cents/pound at Wednesday’s CME close, while August cattle soared 1.52 cents to 139.52 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures leapt 1.37 cents to 196.97 cents/pound and May feeders vaulted 1.25 to 195.57.
Rebounding cash quotes again supported hog futures. Resurgent cash prices boosted hog futures Tuesday. The country gains resumed Wednesday morning and apparently spurred continued strength in Chicago. Conversely, pork values have proven surprisingly weak, thereby limiting potential CME advances. Yesterday’s late pork losses suggest an opening decline today. April hog futures ended Wednesday having advanced 0.75 cents to 69.32 cents/pound, while June hogs surged 1.00 to 83.97.
Pragmatic considerations may be weighing on cotton futures. Nearby cotton futures bounced from their 10-day moving averages early this week, then bounced strongly Wednesday. Indeed, the most-active May contract pushed to fresh 2015 highs. However, it stalled above last week’s peak instead of following through to the upside. Pragmatic sellers looking at that action probably weren’t impressed and seemed to anticipate more short-term consolidation. March cotton slid 0.15 cents to 65.37 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Thursday, while July futures sank 0.26 to 65.64.