The grain markets were narrowly mixed Wednesday night, with differences in old and new crop prospects seeming to affect corn futures. The persistent tightness of the 2012/13 situation seemingly supported nearby July futures, whereas expectations for much larger new crop production seemingly weighed upon deferred contracts. July corn futures were unchanged at $6.5075/bushel early Thursday morning, while December skidded 0.25 cent to $5.3725.
The WASDE report held very few surprises for soybean traders, which largely explains the muted Wednesday afternoon reaction. However, the soybean and meal prices declined rather substantially overnight. Little real news concerning the legume market was published in the early morning hours, so we are inclined to view the weakness as being largely technical in nature. July soybean futures fell 9.5 cents to $15.3125/bushel in early Thursday price action, while July soyoil rallied 0.11 cents to 48.22 cents/pound, and July soybean meal dipped $2.0 to $459.4/ton.
The wheat markets were mixed to higher in early Thursday trading. As in the corn pit, the relative tightness of the old crop situation and U.S. dollar slippage seemingly supported the nearby contracts. In contrast to their corn market counterparts, most deferred wheat contracts advanced slightly as well, which may simply represent a technical reaction to the sizeable losses suffered Wednesday. July CBOT wheat futures slipped 0.25 to $6.8275/bushel as the sun rose over Chicago Thursday, while July KCBT wheat edged up 1.25 cents to $7.1775, while July MGE futures gained 2.25 cents to $8.085.
Despite persistent seasonal weakness, which many view as a harbinger of an annual low in cash prices at some point in early-to-mid-summer, cattle futures seem to be trying find a bottom. That is actually quite reasonable, since the Chicago markets are forward-looking. That may explain the modest overnight gains despite generally negative sentiment concerning short-term price prospects. August cattle inched up 0.17 cents lower at 119.70 cents/pound in early Thursday trading, while December was unchanged at 125.57. August feeder cattle futures slid 0.22 cents to 145.70 cents/pound, while November skidded 0.27 cents to 151.25.
The ongoing seasonal advance in hog and pork prices boosted CME lean hog futures Wednesday and again overnight. However, while the June contract kept marching upward as it nears expiration tomorrow, the deferred contracts may be losing their upward momentum. The fact that the complex has tended to peak during June of years past is probably creating doubts about the sustainability of current values. July hog futures climbed 0.27 cents to 99.45 cents/pound as electronic trading accelerated Thursday morning, while December edged up 0.02 cents to 81.67.
After capping a big rally with a strong bullish reaction to the monthly USDA WASDE report Wednesday, cotton futures set back in early Thursday trading. For example, the expiring July future had climbed over 10 cents/pound since May 31, so the complex is probably due for a bout of consolidation and or a technically inspired dip. July cotton futures sagged 0.81 cents to 89.25 cents/pound as trading ramped up Thursday morning, while December sank 0.87 to 87.20.