Corn futures were virtually unchanged Wednesday night. Ideas that the US harvest is nearing completion may be supporting prices, whereas technical resistance and the cancellation of a sizeable tender by a big South Korean firm appear to be keeping a lid on prices. December corn futures inched up 0.25 cents to $4.30/bushel in early Thursday action, while May was steady at $4.4875.
The soy complex is decidedly mixed again this morning. Traders remain concerned about the vegetable oil situation after recent weather systems damaged Southeast Asian palm oil prospects, so are still buying soyoil futures. However, bean futures seem to be suffering a hangover in the wake of their recent rally, with traders seemingly thinking strong global production forecasts will be sufficient to meet demand at current levels. January soybean futures fell 5.5 cents to $13.095/bushel in Wednesday night trading, while December soyoil gained 0.14 cents to 41.10 cents/pound, and December soymeal lost $1.8 to $421.5/ton.
Talk of improving export demand seemingly is boosting the wheat markets. Recent wheat export totals have been unimpressive, which when combined with improving winter wheat conditions have weighed upon prices. However, the industry now views US wheat as being more competitive on the global market. The overnight bounce apparently reflects that optimism. December CBOT wheat futures rallied 5.5 cents to $6.51/bushel around dawn Thursday, while December KCBT wheat futures advanced 5.0 cents to $7.07, while December MWE futures added 3.25 to $7.0275.
Firming beef prices seemingly sparked this morning’s cattle advance. The cattle industry is hoping for a fresh cash price increase today or tomorrow, but flat-weak wholesale prices discouraged them earlier this week. However, choice cutout values posted a moderate gain Wednesday afternoon, which probably renewed bullish hopes. December cattle futures rallied 0.37 cents to 133.12 cents/pound early Thursday morning, while April futures rose 0.22 to 135.05. Meanwhile, January feeder cattle surged 0.42 cents to 165.07 cents/pound, and March feeders gained 0.40 cents to 164.75.
Diving pork prices undercut hog futures Wednesday night. Hog weights have soared lately, thereby suggesting market-ready supplies are more liquid than previously thought. And while the cash markets apparently firmed Wednesday, afternoon reports indicated a big drop in pork prices; that doesn’t bode well for the short-term outlook. December hog futures dove 0.62 cents to 86.75 cents/pound in early Thursday trading, while April tumbled 0.42 to 92.22.
Technical selling seemingly sank cotton futures overnight. After dropping sharply since early October, cotton futures rallied over the past week. Generally bearish conditions have dominated during that time. Thus, it wasn’t terribly surprising to see prices decline again Wednesday night, especially after nearby futures failed at technical resistance yesterday. December cotton dropped 0.47 cents to 77.50 cents/pound just after sunrise Thursday, while March cotton lost 0.43 cents to 78.16.