Soybean spillover supported corn last night. Little news concerning corn emerged overnight, which apparently refocused trader attention on strength in the soybean market. That market again drew strength from talk that Brazil’s trucking strike has widened and greatly hampered the flow of beans to ports and fuel to farms, thereby hurting bean availability and diminishing harvest prospects. March corn futures edged up 1.5 cents to $3.815/bushel Thursday night, while July added 1.75 to $3.9825.
The Brazilian situation continues supporting the soy complex. Brazil’s trucker strike over taxes and fuel costs has reportedly spread far and wide. The blockage of numerous roads is apparently keeping beans from flowing from farms to ports and fuel from moving the opposite direction. Their farmers don’t have the storage capacity to hold harvested beans, further disrupting the harvest. March soybean futures rallied 11.0 cents to $10.35/bushel early Friday morning, while March soyoil surged 0.60 cents to 32.44 cents/pound, and March meal lifted $1.9 to $356.5/ton.
The wheat markets were decidedly mixed Thursday night. Gains in beans and corn may have supported winter wheat futures overnight, although worries about winter kill may have boosted the Chicago contracts. Meanwhile, the nearby Minneapolis price fell rather sharply, which may have reflected the glutted global situation and prospects for more of the same in the months ahead. March CBOT wheat climbed 7.5 cents to $5.1075/bushel in early Friday action, while March KC wheat inched 1.25 cents higher to $5.285/bushel, and March MWE wheat slid 4.25 to $5.47.
Cattle futures followed beef higher again Thursday. Wholesale beef prices continued their early-week surge through midday yesterday, with the gains finally seeming to persuade CME cattle traders that packers were likely to pay at least steady prices for fed cattle this week. That made nearby futures look cheap. The market seems likely to follow-through higher this morning. April cattle futures soared 2.95 cents to 149.80 cents/pound shortly as the CME pit session ended Thursday, while August cattle vaulted 2.27 cents to 141.80 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures leapt 3.32 cents to 200.30 cents/pound and May feeders zoomed up 3.35 to 198.92.
Slumping pork values undercut CME hogs. Cash hog quotes have turned sharply higher this week, as exemplified by the fact that tomorrow’s preliminary quote for the CME index (for Wednesday) will rise 1.32 cents to 63.38 after having bottomed at 60.27 cents last Thursday. However, pork prices have posted stunning losses this week, thereby undermining bullish hopes for late winter. Afternoon pork weakness implies a weak opening again today. April hog futures plunged 2.17 cents to 67.15 cents/pound at Thursday’s close, while June hogs tumbled 1.35 to 82.62.
March cotton is again reflecting the lack of deliverable supply. As has often been the case lately, little fresh news concerning cotton emerged Thursday night. The expiring March contract posted a modest gain, which very likely marked a response to the dearth of certificated stocks. The deferred contracts declined on muted selling. Wire service reports suggest current slippage stems from bullish profit-taking. March cotton rose 0.15 cents to 65.32 cents/pound shortly after sunrise Friday, while July futures sagged 0.14 to 65.50.