Big export sales boosted the corn market. Despite the negative export implications of the ongoing U.S. dollar surge, corn futures rallied in response to today’s weekly USDA Export Sales report. The 2.185 million tonne total was the largest result since early January 2008, which highlights its sheer size and says good things about export demand. March corn bounced 1.25 cents to $3.85/bushel late Friday morning, while July rose 1.5 to $4.0075.
The soy complex was mixed to lower in late Friday morning action. As one might have expected recent news of canceled bean sales to China crunched the weekly export sales total. Meal sales were good, while oil movement was moderate. Meanwhile, financial and energy market shifts, along with fund activity seemed to sink the oil market. March soybean futures slid 5.0 cents to $9.7175/bushel around midsession Friday, while March soyoil fell 0.33 to 31.64 cents/pound, and March meal climbed $0.9 to $331.0/ton.
Wheat futures also benefited from strong export sales. With the wheat markets seemingly balanced between dollar-driven selling and buying on concerns about the Black Sea situation, the Export Sales figure favored the bulls. The 458,400-tonne result topped the forecast range and apparently kept the Midwest markets around unchanged levels at midday. March CBOT wheat edged down 0.25 cent to $5.335/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Friday, while March KC wheat slipped 0.5 cent to $5.6425/bushel, and March MWE wheat gained 1.0 to $5.765.
Fund liquidation seemed to scuttle the livestock markets. Concerns about commodity deflation and sinking export prospects seemed to spur fresh commodity fund liquidation Friday morning. The relatively elevated levels recently reached by the livestock markets, particularly those in the cattle sector, seemingly exaggerated the reaction. Thursday’s spot market losses probably encouraged bears as well. February and April live cattle futures plunged the 3.00-cent daily limit to 150.50 and 148.80 cents/pound, respectively, in late Friday morning trading. January feeder cattle futures fell 1.67 cents to 214.12, and March feeders plummeted 4.50 to 201.82.
CME hogs extended Thursday’s big bearish move. Early-January losses in the cash hog and pork markets have not been particularly severe. However, the downtrend seemed to accelerate Thursday, thereby sparking a big CME breakdown. Moreover, the drop rendered the swine market vulnerable to selling related to deflation concerns. February hog futures dropped 1.90 cents to 69.70 cents/pound around midsession Friday, while June hogs dove 2.27 cents to 80.87.