Brazilian news may have outweighed Thursday’s Export Sales data. The weekly USDA Export Sales report stated last week’s corn total well above industry expectations, but that supportive news seemingly did little to offset the bearish impact of overnight Brazilian data. That is, while that country’s CONAB agency cut its 2015 production estimate, the result was far above the USDA result posted Tuesday. Futures apparently declined in response. March corn closed down 2.75 cents to $3.83/bushel Thursday, while July lost 3.0 to $3.9825.
Bulls powered a belated rally in the soy complex Thursday. CONAB officials reduced their estimate of that country’s forthcoming soybean harvest 1.3 million to 94.6 million tonnes last night, which essentially matched the latest USDA forecast. The Export Sales report looked quite supportive of the legume market, but it took a while for bulls to push CBOT prices higher. Trader concerns about a buyer shift to South American product reportedly hampered bullish efforts. March soybean futures rallied 6.0 cents to $9.8375/bushel in late Thursday trading, while March soyoil moved up 0.26 cents to 32.01 cents/pound, and March meal rose $0.9 to $330.5/ton.
Fund selling reportedly depressed the wheat markets. News of a sizeable Japanese buying tender, sustained Russian tariffs on wheat headed for Egypt and a decent result on the Export Sales report all seemed supportive of the wheat markets this morning. Nevertheless, wheat futures declined significantly. Wire service sources cited active fund selling, while pointed to the global glut and comparatively high U.S. prices. March CBOT wheat declined 4.5 cents to $5.2125/bushel at its Thursday settlement, while March KC wheat sank 5.25 cents to $5.54/bushel, and March MWE wheat sagged 1.75 to $5.7425.
Wholesale strength probably boosted cattle futures Thursday. Cattle futures proved surprisingly weak Wednesday, especially when viewed within the context of substantial beef cutout gains posted later in the day. CME traders seemingly concluded the drop was overdone, since the Chicago market remained firm despite a disappointing midday beef report. April live cattle futures gained 0.02 cents to 151.12 cents/pound as Thursday’s CME session ended, while August cattle climbed 0.30 cents to 142.07 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures leapt 1.55 cents to 200.30 cents/pound and May feeders soared 2.07 to 200.35.
Bullish expectations may have boosted CME hogs. The pork market remained firm through the end of Wednesday’s trading, thereby seeming to spark a bounce that began in the GLOBEX session and resumed this morning. Today’s midsession spot quotes weren’t at all helpful, but futures seemingly ignored the negative news. That makes one suspect the industry is beginning to expect a sharp reversal once the West Coast port situation is resolved. April hog futures ended Thursday having climbed 0.67 cents to 64.50 cents/pound, while June hogs jumped 1.27 to 78.50.
Cotton traders seemingly anticipated the poor export sales result. The weekly Export Sales report stated last week’s cotton result at just 52,200 bales, which fell drastically below the huge total posted the week prior. The muted ICE market reaction to the news strongly suggests traders expected a big slowdown. Today’s fresh equity market strength and big U.S. dollar losses may also have encouraged buying. March cotton futures advanced 0.46 cents to 62.48 cents/pound at Thursday’s New York close, while the July contract ran up 0.52 to 63.21.