Ag markets posted big Thursday morning gains. The weekly USDA Export Sales report was almost unanimously supportive of the crop markets today, with corn result seeming quite strong. A concurrent decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, which is threatening to the traditional index below major chart support, probably encouraged commodity buying as well. May corn futures gained 4.0 cents to $3.765/bushel late Thursday morning, while December added 3.0 to $4.005.

Brazilian strike news is probably boosting the soy complex. The soybean and product totals on the Export Sales report met expectations, so they probably exerted modest influence over prices. Indeed, the main impetus for today’s advance almost surely came from news that Brazil’s truckers are once again disrupting transport in that country after failing to gain concessions from the government or trucking companies. Meal is also threatening to break out of its recent downtrend. May soybean futures surged 11.25 cents to $9.8175/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while May soyoil ran up 0.64 cents to 32.20 cents/pound, and May meal climbed $2.5 to $318.0/ton.

The wheat markets also reacted well to the export news. The wheat markets proved quite firm Wednesday night and remained strong after the export data were released. While last week’s sales weren’t huge, they easily topped industry expectations. One has to wonder if traders are concerned about the southern Plains situation, since the KC market led the rally. May CBOT wheat futures rose 3.0 cents to $5.0175/bushel around midsession Wednesday, while May KC wheat advanced 8.75 cents to $5.2075/bushel, and May MWE wheat moved up 4.75 to $5.485.

Cattle futures turned sharply higher Thursday morning. Cattle futures didn’t perform well early this week, especially after scattered cash trading at lower levels yesterday. However, bears couldn’t trigger a hoped for follow-through breakdown this morning, which apparently opened the door for a big reversal. Active short-covering apparently powered the move. June cattle futures zoomed up 2.60 cents to 148.62 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while August jumped 2.45 cents to 147.30. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures rocketed 3.55 cents to 210.30 cents/pound and August soared 3.37 to 211.82.

Resurgent pork quotes spurred big CME hog gains as well. The pork markets performed rather poorly early this week, but the midday report confirmed early-morning talk of big gains today. That news, along with bullish technical implications of today’s surge, almost surely triggered active Chicago buying. June hog futures spiked 2.77 cents to 78.72 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, while December surged 1.60 to 68.62.