The Export Sales report apparently undercut corn futures Thursday. The weekly USDA report stated last week’s corn sales at 387,700 tonnes, whereas 600,000-800,000 tonnes were expected. That news, along with continued U.S. dollar gains seemed to offset the bullish impact of surging stock prices. Bullish traders may also have been reducing their holdings ahead of next Monday’s USDA reports. March corn futures slipped 2.0 cents to $3.9425/bushel in late Thursday action, while July lost 2.0 to $4.095.
Soyoil diverged from slumping beans and meal. Firming crude oil and resurgent palm oil quotes supported soyoil futures Wednesday night and the soyoil result on the weekly Export Sales report topped expectations. Early news of another sizeable bean sale to China also supported the complex, but the export sales results for beans and meal disappointed. That probably explains the comparative weakness of those two markets as the day passed. March soybean futures sagged 7.75 cents to $10.45/bushel as Thursday’s CBOT pit session ended, while March soyoil surged 0.60 to 33.76 cents/pound, and March meal dropped $6.8 to $347.2/ton.
Thursday’s news encouraged wheat market bears. Although arctic weather is threatening winter wheat crops, today’s news seemed decidedly bearish. First, an Indian report stated that country’s stockpiles far above expectations. Second, the U.S. was once again shut out of an Egyptian tender. Third, the weekly Export Sales report was disappointing. March CBOT wheat fell 12.5 cents to $5.67/bushel at Thursday’s settlement, while March KC wheat tumbled 12.75 cents to $6.0775/bushel, and March MWE wheat slumped 7.25 to $6.085.
Fund selling reportedly sank cattle futures Thursday. Monthly export data revealed a disappointing beef figure, which partially explained Thursday morning cattle weakness. The nearby February contract dipped below its 100-day moving average, which reportedly triggered a cascade of fund selling. Feeder futures also fell. February and April live cattle futures ended Thursday having plunged the 3.00-cent daily limit to 163.60 and 163.42 cents/pound, respectively. January feeder cattle futures slipped 0.03 cents to 225.62 cents/pound, and March feeders plummeted 3.27 cents to 217.05.
Spot market losses continued weighing on CME hogs. The hog and pork industry has been anticipating a seasonal price rebound through mid-winter, but the spot markets have refused to cooperate in the new year. Persistent cash weakness and mixed pork quotes apparently rendered the CME market vulnerable to spillover selling from the cattle pit. February hog futures dropped 1.15 cents to 78.17 cents/pound in late Thursday trading, while June hogs dove 1.90 cents to 89.00.