Accelerating plantings seem to be weighing on grain futures. Today’s USDA Export Sales data may have disappointed bulls. Talk of accelerating planting as fine weather dominates the Midwest also seemed to dominate in Chicago, but bears could also point to a wire service story indicating a likely rise in Brazil’s ‘second crop.’ May corn futures slid 3.0 cents to $3.6075/bushel late Thursday morning, while December lost 3.75 to $3.8175.
The soy complex also turned lower Thursday morning. Argentine strike news, the falling U.S. dollar and technical factors powered sizeable Wednesday soy gains, with prices posting modest follow-through gains overnight. However, beans reversed lower this morning, with mixed export sales results seeming to rob the market of bullish momentum. Rising global supplies are reportedly behind today’s reversal, especially after Bunge officials indicating no reduction in domestic soymeal demand stemming from the ‘bird flu’ outbreak. May soybean futures dove 10.0 cents to $9.785/bushel around midsession Thursday, while May soyoil skidded 0.05 cents to 31.42 cents/pound, and May meal slumped $4.8 to $319.4/ton.
The wheat markets fell rather sharply Thursday morning. Rapid spring wheat plantings are probably weighing on wheat futures, but export news probably caused today’s drop. The Export Sales report indicated a 449,200 net reduction in old crop sales, as cancellations overwhelmed new transactions. Russian statements on ending their export tariff probably added to the price pressure. May CBOT wheat futures tumbled 11.75 cents to $4.655/bushel just before lunchtime Thursday, while May KC wheat dropped 9.0 cents to $4.9175/bushel, and May MWE wheat sank 13.5 to $5.2175.
Spot market weakness may be depressing cattle futures. Beef cutout values were quoted mixed-to-higher early this week, but today’s emerging weakness seemed to undercut CME futures. The Chicago market seemed to suffer an inordinate bearish reaction, but traders are probably focusing upon the possibility of a sizeable cash market decline before the weekend. June live cattle futures crashed 2.40 cents to 148.50 cents/pound in late Thursday morning action, while August cattle plummeted 2.25 to 146.90. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures fell 1.95 cents to 211.10 cents/pound, and August feeders plunged 2.00 to 212.70.
Cattle losses dragged hogs lower as well. Cash hog prices reportedly continued their ongoing surge this morning, and midsession pork quotes also indicated big gains. And while the nearby May contract remained strong, deferred hog futures suffered a dramatic late morning reversal. That almost surely reflects industry concerns about the negative impact of a big spring-summer drop in cattle prices. June hog futures jumped had declined 0.15 cents to 81.05 cents/pound as the lunch hour loomed Thursday, and December sagged 0.42 to 68.57.