Corn followed wheat higher Thursday. Today’s weather-driven wheat rally seemed to spill over into corn futures, with traders apparently worrying about excessive spring rainfall. Also, a private forecast of corn plantings below USDA estimates may have encouraged bulls in the yellow grain market. The Export Sales data seemed disappointing. July corn futures climbed 5.75 cents to $3.68/bushel at Thursday’s CBOT settlement, while December gained 6.25 to $3.8475.
The soy complex settled mixed once again. Today’s USDA Export Sales results for soy were generally weak, which seemingly weighed upon CBOT prices in early trading. News that a respected private firm had greatly boosted its forecast for U.S. bean plantings probably spurred selling as well. Nevertheless, bears could sustain only a portion of the pressure. Recent financial market action, with stocks surging and the dollar having dropped may be limiting downside potential, since both imply underlying demand strength. July soybean futures settled 0.25 cent lower at $9.57/bushel Thursday, while July soyoil bounced 0.10 cents to 33.34 cents/pound, and July meal slipped $0.2 to $302.2/ton.
Southern Plains rainfall boosted wheat markets. Persistent dryness has been the winter wheat story for several years, so current talk of excessive rainfall damaging production prospects in the southern Plains marks a significant sea-change. Today’s weather-related surge was also powered by waves of short covering as futures funds cut their huge holdings. July CBOT wheat futures ended Thursday having soared 32.75 cents to $5.1325/bushel, while July KC wheat spiked 33.75 cents to $5.4325/bushel, and July MWE wheat leapt 26.5 to $5.665.
Spot market strength spurred cattle buying. Wednesday’s big beef gains indicated persistently robust consumer demand and probably presaged today’s midsession gains as well as higher starting packer bids than seen last week. Technicians apparently jumped on the bullish bandwagon as well. June live cattle futures jumped 1.82 cents to 153.80 cents/pound in late Thursday action, while August cattle vaulted 1.42 to 152.07 Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures surged 1.32 cents to 218.95 cents/pound, and November feeders advanced 1.62 to 216.30.
CME hogs seem caught between bulls and bears. Concerns about excessive pork supplies and weak seasonal demand after Memorial Day are seemingly weighing on hog futures this week. Conversely, the reality of current strength and the relative cheapness of pork versus beef and chicken is apparently offering vigorous support. June hog futures closed 0.82 cents lower at 83.95 cents/pound Thursday, while December sank 0.37 to 69.67.