Crop traders seemed optimistic Thursday night. Little pertinent news emerged overnight. The financial markets were largely unchanged, while crude oil built on Thursday’s advance. Thus, general optimism about the outlook, particularly on the demand side, seemed to boost the grain and soy complexes. Nearby corn futures seem set to test technical resistance associate with their 40-day moving averages in the near future. March corn rose 1.75 cents to $3.87/bushel early Friday morning, while July added 1.75 to $4.0225.
Crude and vegetable oil news apparently boosted the sow complex. Asian palm oil prices continued rising overnight in response to yesterday’s Indonesian announcement of increased subsidies for biodiesel producers. Given the concurrent crude oil strength, the bullish reaction in soyoil futures was hardly surprising. Beans tagged along despite huge South American production prospects, while meal edged upward. March soybean futures gained 3.75 cents to $9.85/bushel Thursday night and March soyoil rallied 0.28 cents to 31.99 cents/pound, while March meal inched $1.0 higher to $332.4/ton.
Talk of renewed demand continues supporting the wheat markets. Although there was no overnight news of fresh international wheat transactions, traders are reportedly still quite encouraged by the burst of activity experienced earlier this week. Yesterday’s talk of Egyptian buying almost surely spurred persistent buying. Hopes for follow-through gains are likely encouraging technicians as well. March CBOT wheat advanced 5.5 cents to $5.3125/bushel in early Friday trading, while March KC wheat climbed 6.0 to $5.70/bushel, and March MWE wheat ran up 5.0 to $5.84.
Cattle futures bounced from early losses Thursday. Growing talk that the slowdown of exports flowing through West Coast ports is stifling U.S. meat shipments apparently exerted persistent pressure on cattle futures yesterday. However, Chicago prices bounced from the early lows in apparent response to the midday rise in select beef cutout and talk of firm cash prices. Afternoon beef quotes were weaker, but GLOBEX strength points to a firm opening. April live cattle futures sank 0.62 cents to 148.02 cents/pound at their Thursday settlement, while August cattle bounced 0.65 cents to 141.00 cents/pound. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle futures fell 1.07 cents to 195.65 cents/pound and May feeders dropped 1.15 to 196.47.
Spot losses continued weighing on CME hogs. As with cattle, worries about the export sector apparently depressed the hog and pork complex Thursday. Futures continued Wednesday’s breakdown in early trading and remained under steady pressure as the weak tone of the day’s spot quotes became apparent. The late-day losses seemingly proved relatively modest, which may lead to a firm opening as well. April hog futures plunged 1.82 cents to 63.27 cents/pound as Thursday’s pit session ended, while June hogs tumbled 1.57 to 78.05.
Cotton futures seem to hitting resistance at recent highs. Surprisingly strong exports and expectations for big 2015 production cutbacks have reportedly powered the recent cotton rally. And while the nearby contracts have topped significant technical resistance in the process, they seemed to run into selling as they neared their December highs this week. March cotton futures slid 0.15 cents to 61.64 cents/pound as the sun rose over New York Friday, while the July contract dipped 0.11 to 62.03.