The grain markets are mostly lower early Thursday morning ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend. The agricultural markets will be closed on Friday July 3rd. Corn futures are softer after an eventful week capping off a quarter where nearby corn hit a high of $4.15 on Tuesday and a low of $3.48 on June 15th. The last time corn got that low was October 2014. In May 2014 nearby corn was trading in the 530 range. Volatility has remained a constant as supply and demand factors are ever changing. The US Dollar Index is down .05 to 96.26. July corn futures fell .5 cents to $4.1325/bushel at dawn , while December is neutral $4.3175.
The soy complex continues to trade mixed early morning Thursday, appearing to wind down activity ahead of the long holiday weekend. The 3-day holiday weekend feels like a timely respite for the markets after strangely persistent weather patterns and surprising government data had led to some wild trading activity in recent weeks. Weather, crop conditions, re-survey results from AR, KS, MO, and harvested acres numbers will all be key going forward. July soybeans slid 1.5 cents to $10.425/bushel early morning Thursday, while July soyoil gained .04 cents to 33.05 cents/pound, and July meal climbed $1.4 to $361.2/ton.
Wheat futures traded lower overnight and have somewhat stabilized after heavy losses yesterday in late response to Tuesday’s bearish government numbers. The news that Canadian wheat acres are expected to rise 1.3% combined with larger than expected stocks and acreage could keep pressure on wheat in the near term. Weather in the Midwest, disease in winter wheat, and dryness in the EU will continue to be watched. July CBOT wheat futures slid .75 cents to $5.8675/bushel at dawn Thursday, while July KC wheat lost 7.75 cents to $5.6825/bushel, and July MWE lowered .5 cents to $6.07.
Live cattle futures showed great strength Wednesday marking a week of wide price swings as triple digit gains were posted. Pre-holiday sentiments and a hard-to-explain ride higher yesterday point to a lower trade Thursday. While the lower demand theme has persisted over the last several days, traders have apparently seen the light in the tunnel as Wednesday, prices worked their way toward the quarterly high of 153.53 reached on June 10th. Yesterday, nearby futures broke out above the 40-day moving average of 150.72 to hit 151.08 only one day after hitting the quarterly low of 148.08. August cattle futures dropped gained 3 cents to 151.08 cents/pound Wednesday, while December futures rose 2.95 cents to 154.85. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures lifted 3.50 cents to 218.22 cents/pound, and November feeders advanced 3.32 cents to 213.95.
Mixed trading characterized ICE lean hogs Wednesday, just days before the national holiday. Nearby futures continued higher perhaps on feed cost implications, while the deferred months were weaker. Tightening of the farrowing sow supply going forward, implied by the recent USDA report, coupled with the rise in demand projected for early August give producers and packers mixed factors to consider. August hog futures gained .875 cents to 75.25 cents/pound Wednesday, while December lost .72 cents to 63.50.