The grain markets rallied again Thursday. After struggling or moving lower Wednesday, the crop markets turned upward overnight, with the grain markets continuing their advance this morning. Talk of excess rainfall in the U.S and potential dryness in Russia, Canada and Australia boosted wheat, with corn following right behind. Good export news also powered the yellow grain advance. July corn futures ended Thursday having risen 5.0 cents to $3.65/bushel, while December added 5.0 to $3.8225.
The soy complex ended Thursday on a decidedly mixed note. The soybean market seemed set to rebound from Wednesday’s big lows early this morning, but bulls proved unable to sustain the move. Oil posted modest gains on strength spilling over from crude oil futures. Strong U.S. production prospects, as well as huge South American supplies, are apparently handicapping bullish efforts in the soy markets, although the firm close posted by July meal reminded traders of underlying protein demand strength. July soybean futures closed 2.75 cents lower at $9.385/bushel Thursday, while July soyoil bounced 0.05 cents to 32.25 cents/pound, and July meal slipped $0.4 to $304.1/ton.
Wheat markets suffered a late setback from midsession highs. The latest weather forecasts suggest winter wheat in the southern Plains faces continued rains, whereas traders are talking about dryness in Russia and Canada. The potential for an El Nino’ also raises the prospect of Australian drought. Nearby futures’ inability to top midmorning highs seemed to prompt a late setback. July CBOT wheat futures climbed 9.0 cents to $5.22/bushel in late Thursday action, while July KC wheat jumped 12.75 cents to $5.5775/bushel, and July MWE wheat advanced 10.0 to $5.7825.
Cattle futures reacted well to country cash news. Bearish seasonal expectations have weighed upon cattle futures lately, but Great Plains prices proved surprisingly firm Wednesday afternoon. That news clearly sparked today’s strong opening and sustained morning strength. June live cattle futures settled 1.02 cents at 152.37 cents/pound when Thursday’s CME pit session ended, while August cattle vaulted 1.17 to 150.90. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures surged 1.02 cents to 217.72 cents/pound, and November feeders ran up 1.02 to 215.12.
Hog futures rebounded from early losses. Wednesday’s mixed-to-lower spot quotes reinforced trader expectations of short-term hog and pork weakness, with Thursday’s weak opening generating significant follow-through to the downside. However, the midday pork reports were quite strong, thereby seeming to spark a quick CME comeback. The strong June close seemingly bodes well for the short-term outlook. June hog futures jumped 1.22 cents to 83.77 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December settled 0.05 lower at 70.20.