Thursday morning news that China had cancelled private sales of 315,000 tonnes of soybeans scheduled to be shipped in the coming weeks depressed that market and weighed upon grain values as well. Corn futures may also have been suffering from talk of benign weather over South American growing areas, since the prospect of bumper crops in the Southern Hemisphere might undercut U.S. exports that are already proving quite slow. The crop markets rebounded substantially around midsession, which seemingly reflected strong buying from technicians and fund managers looking for a sustained bounce to start the new year. However, yellow grain prices had slipped back into negative territory by the end of the day. March corn bucked the downward move by closing 1 1/4 cents higher, at $6.92/bushel, whereas December had fell 3 1/4 cents to $5.89.
The USDA announced Thursday morning that China had cancelled delivery of 315,000 tonnes of soybeans previously scheduled for the 2012-13 crop year. As one would normally expect, the news was not conducive to strength in Chicago futures. Moreover, growing talk of a bumper South American bean crop apparently held significantly negative implications for the intermediate-term outlook. Nevertheless, soybean futures rebounded substantially from early lows, which may have reflected an influx of fresh fund buying, especially if those managers believe the market is technically oversold in the wake of recent losses. Unfortunately for bullish interests, the bounce proved rather ephemeral. March beans settled 9 3/4 cents lower at $13.95 3/4 per bushel, while March soyoil closed down 0.37 cents to 50.15 cents/pound and January meal fell $4.9 to $402.2/ton.
The wheat markets proved even more amenable to a Thursday morning rebound than did their counterparts in the corn and soybean pits. In fact, the bounce came despite talk that Egyptian officials hope to reduce their 2013 imports by about 1.0 million tonnes and the concurrent rebound posted by the U.S. dollar, since such gains typically raise the cost of American products faced by foreign buyers. Ultimately, traders may simply have concluded the recent drop was overdone and the market is now due for a significant rebound. Indeed, it would be easy to construe today’s March CBOT wheat action as a technical reversal signal. That contract ended the day 4 cents higher at $7.59 1/4; March KCBT wheat was up 6 1/4 cents to $8.17 1/4, while March MGE futures surged 8 1/2 cents to $8.50/bushel.