Thursday’s WASDE report supported corn futures. Today’s weekly USDA Export Sales report seemed bullish for nearby corn futures, but prices had declined prior to the late-morning release of the monthly WASDE report. Big morning gains by the U.S. dollar may have depressed prices. The WASDE report looked supportive as well, since it forecast U.S. ending corn stocks below expectations. May corn futures had slipped just 1.0 cent to $3.7825/bushel shortly thereafter, while December lost 1.25 to $4.035.
The export data sank soybeans, which the WASDE didn’t change. The soy complex started Thursday weakly and accelerated downward on disappointing results from the Export Sales report. Those sizeable losses were sustained after the WASDE report was released, since its results matched generally pre-report expectations. May soybean futures dove 12.25 cents to $9.5925/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while May soyoil dipped 0.05 cents to 30.90 cents/pound, and May meal dropped $5.7 to $314.2/ton.
Weather news probably spurred selling in the wheat markets. We suspect position squaring also played a role in the overnight wheat decline, but wire service reports cited improved weather conditions and improved production prospects in the southern Plains, as well as in other major wheat growing regions. May CBOT wheat slumped 4.75 cents to $5.215/bushel early Thursday morning, while May KC wheat slid 4.5 cents to $5.5675/bushel, and May MWE wheat sagged 2.25 to $5.7825.
Cattle futures turned decidedly lower Wednesday. CME cattle traders seemed caught between current spot market strength and bearish seasonal expectations in early Wednesday trading. Futures later turned downward despite a midday report of sizeable wholesale gains. The industry clearly remains skeptical of recent cash strength. Still, late beef strength seems likely to lead to a firm opening this morning. June cattle futures fell 0.87 cents to 151.45 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended Wednesday, while August cattle drooped 0.35 to 148.55 cents/pound. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures dove 1.47 cents to 213.47 cents/pound, and August feeders tumbled 1.37 to 214.92.
Nearby April diverged from gains in deferred hog futures. Country hog quotes firmed Wednesday morning, but the pork markets were mixed. That likely explains the lack of strength exhibited by the nearby April contract yesterday. Conversely, talk of seasonal strength, particularly the potential for improved pork demand, apparently boosted the deferred contracts. Afternoon GLOBEX gains suggest early strength today as well. June hog futures climbed 0.75 cents to 77.10 cents/pound at Wednesday’s settlement, while December advanced 0.70 to 70.97.