Corn futures are called marginally higher, as they are expected to be supported by soybeans. Corn futures favored a firmer tone overnight, but softened in reaction to a disappointing weekly export sales tally and ended the overnight session marginally higher. Weekly export sales of 769,300 MT for 2015-16 and 60,500 MT were below expectations, althoughexports were strong at 1.226 MMT. A firmer tone in the U.S. dollar index should limit buying in the corn market, although strength in soybean futures will limit selling. Also supportive is news China's ag ministry expects the country's corn acreage to decline by 3.29 million acres this year due to policy shifts in favor of drawing down massive state reserves.
Soybean futures are called 8 to 10 cents higher on strong export sales. Soybean futures extended gains at the close of the overnight session in reaction to an impressive weekly export sales tally. Weekly soybean sales of 815,800 MT were reported for 2015-16, which along with sales of 430,000 MT for 2016-17 came in well above expectations. Unknown destinations was the top buyer of old- and new-crop soybeans. While the U.S. dollar index is stronger this morning, soybean futures benefited from strength in crude oil futures. Meal and soyoil were also higher overnight, with oil supported by strength in the Malaysian palm oil market.
Wheat is called narrowly mixed after a lackluster overnight session. Wheat futures didn't stray too far from unchanged overnight and ended the session narrowly mixed. Strength in the dollar index limited buying, while strength in soybean futures limited selling. This morning's weekly export sales data met wide expectations, with sales of 178,900 MT for 2015-16 and 140,000 MT for 2016-17. The second day of the HRW wheat tour found an average yield of 49.3 bu. per acre, up from 34.5 bu. per acre last year and the five-year average of 35.9 bushels. Oklahoma tour scouts found an average yield of 33.63 bu. per acre, well above USDA's official 2015 yield for the state of 26 bu. per acre.
Cattle futures are called slightly higher on light followthrough buying. Live cattle futures are expected to enjoy followthrough short-covering after futures posted a high-range close yesterday. Traders also recognize June live cattle futures hold around a $6.50 discount to last week's $124 cash cattle trade, which is too steep given this week's tighter showlist. However, packers have seen margins tighten this week as beef values have continued to fall. Choice beef values slipped another $1.20 yesterday and over the past week have dropped $10.07. However, movement was impressive at 218 loads yesterday, signaling retailers view prices as a value and a near-term low may be near.
Lean hog futures are called mixed on spreading. Nearby lean hog futures are vulnerable to followthrough pressure as traders work to narrow the premium nearby futures hold to the cash index. But the cash hog market is called steady to firmer again this morning amid strong demand. Pork cutout values slipped 36 cents yesterday and prices are near steady with week-ago. Movement was impressive at 416.51 loads. Weekly pork export sales of 30,300 MT, while impressive, were down 50% from last week's eye-popping total. Exports of 23,200 MT were a marketing year high.
Cotton futures remained under downward pressure Wednesday, which at least partially reflected recent financial market reversals sending the equity indexes lower and the U.S. dollar upward. Both of those shifts tend to undercut commodity demand. However, bullish interests and technicians proved able to provide firm support around the July cotton contract’s 20-day moving average, thereby keeping hopes for a short-term bounce alive. Indeed, fiber prices rebounded modestly along with equity index futures Wednesday night. Prices reacted little to the results of the weekly USDA Export Sales report showing last week’s sales improved significantly from the week prior, but fell well short of the four-week average. July cotton advanced 0.25 cents to 63.03 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while the December contract gained 0.21 to 62.21.