The Export Sales report apparently undercut corn futures Thursday morning. 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. March corn futures slipped 0.75 cent to $3.955/bushel in Thursday morning action, while July lost 1.0 to $4.105.
Soyoil diverged from beans and meal in early trading. Firming crude oil and resurgent palm oil quotes supported soyoil futures Wednesday night and the result on the weekly Export Sales report topped expectations. News of another sizeable bean sale to China also supported the complex, but the export sales results for beans and meal disappointed. That seemingly explains the comparative weakness of those two markets. March soybean futures sagged 7.0 cents at $10.4925/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, while March soyoil climbed 0.52 to 33.68 cents/pound, and March meal slid $5.6 to $348.4/ton.
Thursday’s early 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. Actually, the early losses seem rather modest despite the news. March CBOT wheat sank 8.0 cents to $5.715/bushel around midsession Thursday, while March KC wheat slumped 8.0 cent to $6.12/bushel, and March MWE wheat dipped 3.75 to $6.12.
Cattle futures are trading mixed. Monthly export data revealed a disappointing beef figure, which may at least partially explain Thursday morning weakness in nearby cattle futures. On the other hand, midday beef quotes posted major gains, thereby suggesting domestic demand remains robust. Feeder futures surged, possibly in response to declining corn prices. February live cattle skidded 0.07 cents to 165.82 cents/pound just before lunchtime Thursday, while April futures edged down 0.05 cents to 164.67. January feeder cattle futures soared 2.77 cents to 228.42 cents/pound, and March feeders jumped 1.85 cents to 222.17.
Spot market losses continue weighing on CME hogs. The hog and pork industry continues to anticipate a seasonal price rebound. However, the spot markets have refused to cooperate this week, with cash hog values remaining under pressure and pork quotes proving generally steady at best. February hog futures fell 0.60 cents to 78.72 cents/pound late Thursday morning, while June hogs dove 1.15 cents to 89.75.