Corn futures turned lower Thursday morning. After exhibiting considerable strength over the past week, corn futures turned lower this morning. That may have reflected long liquidation before the weekend and next Tuesday’s big USDA reports, but traders may also have been reacting to the equity market losses sustained this week, as well as the morning rebound by the U.S. dollar. Both are seen as negative for commodity demand. May corn futures sagged 2.75 cents to $3.9225/bushel late Thursday morning, while December slid 2.5 to $4.155.
The soy complex proved weak despite good export news. Soybean and products futures traded firmly Wednesday night despite the South American production surge. Bulls also had to be encouraged by the weekly USDA Export Sales report, since sales of beans and products almost unanimously topped expectations. And yet, futures turned mostly lower, with crude oil strength supporting soyoil quotes. Equity market losses and the concurrent U.S. dollar rebound, as well as talk of bearish acreage numbers on next Tuesday’s USDA report, may have sparked sales. May soybean futures slumped 5.0 cents to $9.7375/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May soyoil gained 0.3 cents 31.07 cents/pound, and May meal dipped $1.7 to $322.8/ton.
The Export Sales report seemed bearish for the wheat markets. Wheat futures rebounded slightly from recent losses Wednesday night, but suffered a negative reaction to the USDA Export Sales report, since the stated 102,300-tonne weekly result marked a low for the 2014/15 marketing year. Today’s dollar rebound and wet weather forecasts may also have spurred selling. News that Russia may remove its wheat export tax in July may also have encouraged bears. May CBOT wheat tumbled 13.75 cents to $5.0525/bushel as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, while May KC wheat dove 15.5 cents to $5.475/bushel, and May MWE wheat dropped 13.0 to $5.6775.
Cattle futures responded poorly to Wednesday’s beef surge. CME traders seemed optimistic about short-term cattle prospects early this week, so a bullish reaction to Wednesday’s big wholesale advance seemed likely. Instead, futures turned downward from their firm opening. That may reflect fresh doubts about the outcome of this week’s cash trading. April cattle futures stumbled 0.37 cents lower to 161.35 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while August cattle skidded 0.22 at 149.37 cents/pound. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle futures declined 0.67 cents to 216.57 cents/pound, and August feeders sank 0.95 to 216.80.
Wholesale strength probably spurred Chicago hog buying. The cash hog markets remained weak Wednesday and reportedly remained weak this morning. However, pork cutout values reversed strongly to the upside, which seemed to be what bullish CME traders were looking for, since the nearby contracts turned sharply higher. Seasonal factors seem to point to higher levels. April hog futures climbed 1.10 cents to 60.92 cents/pound around lunchtime Thursday, while June hogs rose 0.30 to 74.90.