Nearby corn futures inched upward Thursday, with wire service sources citing bargain-hunting in the wake of the recent sell-off. The latest weather forecasts still seem very favorable for the fall harvest, as our economists are finding on the western leg of the Doane crop tour. Having rainfall added to the latest Midwest forecasts might boost yields even farther, which probably explains slippage in deferred futures. Conversely, today’s U.S. dollar slide seemed supportive. September corn futures inched up 0.5 cent to $4.0325/bushel at Thursday’s close, while December crept 0.25 higher to $4.1375. 

Nearby bean futures fell early Friday morning as the weather outlook stays mostly favorable. Soybeans have traded as high as 10.29 this week and as low as 9.98 during mid-week trading yet nearby contracts are currently trading back near where they closed on Monday, erasing the gains for the week.  Export sales fell in line with expectations. After bottoming at 9.22 in May, a low not seen since last October, beans shot up to a near-term high of 10.44 on late planting and acreage concerns and appear to be heading closer to the 100-day moving average of 9.7725.  August dropped 4.25 cents to $10.0575/bushel after sunrise Friday, while August soyoil dipped 0.05 cents to 31.14 cents/pound and August meal fell 1.7 to $357.3/ton.    

Wheat futures ended their recent losing streak Thursday, with traders reportedly do considerable bargain hunting/bottom picking just above the $5.00 level on the September Chicago and Kansas City charts. Improved weather across the Corn Belt and into Canada’s Prairie provinces also seemed rather negative. On the other hand, bulls could just as easily point to oversold technical conditions and today’s U.S. dollar decline to bolster their case. September CBOT wheat futures rose 4.75 cents to $5.215/bushel in late Thursday trading, while Sep KC wheat advanced 4.75 cents to $5.17/bushel, and September MWE gained 4.75 cents close at $5.5275. 

Cattle futures continued their recent breakdown Thursday despite reported beef firmness at midday. Anticipation of another cash market decline very likely powered the decline, with technicians also happy to join the bearish party after the nearby August contract brow below its April lows around 144 cents/pound. The July 1 Cattle on Feed report will be released today at 2 pm.  Trade estimates are:  On Feed 101.6%, Placed 99.1%, and Marketed 94.6%.  Also due out today is the semi-annual cattle inventory report. August contracts fell 1.15 cents to 143.35 cents/pound at theirThursday settlement, while December futures plunged 1.50 to 147.47. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures tumbled 2.60 cents to 209.77 cents/pound, and November feeders plummeted 3.25 to 204.02.  

Hog futures firmed in the face of negative stocks news. Wednesday’s USDA Cold Storage report indicated record domestic pork stockpiles for June 30, with ham stocks proving particularly large for  this time of year. Futures dropped sharply on today’s opening, but bears could only partially sustain the pressure. Suspicions that Tuesday’s big rally presaged much more of the same, as well as firm midsession pork quotes and talk of cash strength probably encouraged bulls. August hog futures slid 0.25 cents to 78.27 cents/pound Thursday afternoon, while December dropped 0.62 cents to 61.75.   

Cotton futures set back from early highs. The weekly Export Sales report indicated some impressive cotton sales last week, with the 91,500-bale old-crop total market a 79% weekly increase and a 64% surge beyond the four-week average. However, today’s equity reversal, as well as the December ICE contract’s inability to top its 40-day moving average apparently diminished the gains before the close. December cotton futures settled 0.14 cents higher at 64.74 cents/pound Thursday, while March lifted 0.15 cents to 64.54.