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. Huge gains by the U.S. dollar probably depressed commodity prices. The WASDE report looked supportive as well, since it forecast U.S. ending corn stocks below expectations. May corn futures closed just 1.25 cents lower at $3.78/bushel Thursday, 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 general pre-report expectations. Rebounding crude oil futures probably limited soyoil losses. May soybean futures ended Thursday having plunged 18.0 cents to $9.535/bushel, while May soyoil dipped 0.11 cents to 30.84 cents/pound, and May meal dove $7.8 to $312.1/ton.
The wheat markets posted moderate losses by Thursday’s close. Wire service reports cited improved weather conditions and larger production prospects in the southern Plains, as well as in other major wheat growing regions, for depressing wheat futures this morning. The export data seemed supportive, but apparently had little impact. The WASDE report seemed to have little impactful news, but futures did firm as the session passed. May CBOT wheat slumped 7.5 cents to $5.1875/bushel in late Thursday trading, while May KC wheat fell 9.75 cents to $5.515/bushel, and May MWE wheat sagged 6.5 to $5.74.
Cattle futures edged upward Thursday. The cattle industry rather obviously expects a major seasonal decline this spring and summer, but the cash and wholesale markets have shown few signs of weakness lately. Indeed, this week’s beef firmness may presage another rise in cash cattle prices. That may be why futures ended the day modestly higher. June cattle futures gained 0.12 cents to 151.57 cents/pound as the CME pit session ended Thursday, while August cattle rose 0.12 to 148.67 cents/pound. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle futures bounced 0.22 cents to 213.70 cents/pound, and August feeders crept 0.10 higher to 215.02.
Hog futures seemed to suffer from pragmatic selling. The spring and summer CME hog contracts have traded firmly lately, but have developed little upward momentum. Indeed, today’s general Chicago decline seemed to reflect traders selling in spite of midsession spot market firmness. On the other hand, the sheer size of today’s U.S. dollar rally may have depressed hog market bulls hoping for a resurgence in export demand. June hog futures sagged 0.30 cents to 76.80 cents/pound as the closing bell rang Thursday, while December tumbled 0.37 to 67.60.