Corn futures rallied in response to the Thursday morning USDA Export Sales report, which essentially confirmed the tightness of the underlying export situation. Prices were virtually unchanged overnight, with no real news to push prices in either direction. The May future topped its 40-day Moving Average (MA) yesterday, thereby potentially leading to follow-through gains on technical buying. May corn slipped 0.5 cent to $716.0/bushel early Friday morning, while December edged 0.5 cent lower to $5.5875.
Soybean futures diverged from the grains Thursday, then did so again during the overnight hours. The weekly Export Sales report was disappointing, but traders also had to deal with growing talk that large South American offerings were beginning to weigh upon prices. Conversely, the soy complex rebounded from recent losses last night; that probably reflects resurgent palm oil prices in Asia, as well as a technical bounce from support in the soybean pit. May soybeans rose 5.0 cents to $14.405/bushel Thursday night, while May soyoil climbed 0.42 cents to 49.76 cents/pound, and May meal gained $0.5 to $425.5/ton.
Wheat futures surged in reaction to the Export Sales report, but could not build upon its large advance Thursday night. That was rather surprising since the fundamental situation seems quite supportive of higher prices at this juncture. Moreover, nearby futures topped their 20-day MAs Thursday, thereby seeming to set the stage for a challenge of technical resistance in the $7.45-$7.50 area. May CBOT wheat futures dipped 2.75 cents to $7.22/bushel in early Friday trading, while May KCBT wheat slid 3.25 cents to $7.495, and May MGE futures skidded 3.25 cents to $7.9775.
Diminishing expectations for cash cattle trading late this week apparently undermined CME cattle futures Thursday. The fact that wholesale prices fell rather sharply late in the day very likely caused the follow-through losses suffered overnight. April cattle fell 0.20 cents to 127.85 cents/pound in early Friday morning trading, while August lost 0.37 cents to 124.00. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle dropped 0.57 cents to 140.97 cents/pound, and August sank 0.22 cents to 150.25.
Hog futures proved surprisingly resilient in the face of weak cash markets Thursday, but a weak wholesale report late in the day doomed the Chicago market to fresh losses overnight. The fact that pork loins and butts led the way lower was particularly discouraging. April hogs slid 0.40 cents to 80.47 cents/pound in pre-dawn Friday morning trading, while June lost 0.55 cents to 89.97.
Cotton futures spiked upward reaction to the USDA Export Sales report Thursday and continued rising overnight. A portion of the advance is almost surely a product of its upward momentum, but the Friday morning announcement that Chinese officials had boosted cotton import quotas for its domestic mills by 800,000 tonnes is almost surely supporting prices as well. May cotton jumped 0.81 cents to 91.67 cents/pound early Friday morning, while December surged added 0.04 cents to 88.58.