Corn futures followed wheat higher Thursday. Equity index and crude oil futures rose overnight, which, along with dollar weakness, seemed to pull the crop markets higher. However, the corn result on the weekly USDA Export Sales report met expectations, which seemed to rob the market of upward momentum. Nearby futures later inched upward as wheat futures advanced. March corn settled 1.75 cents higher at $3.8525/bushel Thursday afternoon, while July gained 1.5 to $4.005.
Indonesian news spurred bean and oil gains. Indonesian officials announced overnight that they were considering a subsidy for domestic biodiesel production, which sent palm oil markets soaring. Soyoil futures also jumped and appeared to pull bean prices higher as well. Prospects for record South American crops likely limited gains, as exemplified by the weak showing posted by meal futures. The weekly export data was largely anticipated. March soybean futures rallied 9.25 cents to $9.8125/bushel in late Thursday trading and March soyoil leapt 1.12 cents to 31.71 cents/pound, while March meal skidded $1.3 at $331.4/ton.
Egyptian news boosted the wheat markets Thursday. Continued talk of active global buying probably supported wheat prices Wednesday night. The weekly Export Sales report essentially matched forecasts, but a subsequent report that Egyptian officials might issue a tender for U.S. wheat apparently spurred Thursday’s advance. Equity and energy gains likely encouraged bulls as well. March CBOT wheat climbed 14.75 to $5.2575/bushel at Thursday’s close, while March KC wheat added 11.25 to $5.64/bushel, and March MWE wheat surged 13.0 to $5.79.
Cattle futures bounced from early losses. Growing talk that the slowdown of exports flowing through West Coast ports is stifling U.S. meat shipments apparently exerted persistent pressure on cattle futures this morning. However, Chicago prices bounced from the early lows, possibly in anticipation of the midday rise in select beef cutout and talk of firm cash prices. April live cattle futures sank 0.62 cents to 148.02 cents/pound at their Thursday settlement, while August cattle bounced 0.65 cents to 141.00 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures fell 1.07 cents to 195.65 cents/pound and May feeders dropped 1.15 to 196.47.
Spot losses continued weighing on CME hogs. As with cattle, worries about the export sector apparently depressed the hog and pork complex. Futures continued Wednesday’s breakdown in early trading and remained under steady pressure as the weak tone of the day’s spot quotes became apparent. April hog futures plunged 1.82 cents to 63.27 cents/pound as Thursday’s pit session ended, while June hogs tumbled 1.57 to 78.05.