Grain markets are weaker across the board with losses led by soybean oil and Chicago wheat. Export sales will be a focus later Thursday morning as we get details about China’s corn purchases from the previous week. Soybeans on China’s Dalian Exchange were up 1.56% while soybean meal was up 1.16% and corn was down 0.07%. Energy markets are weaker overnight with crude oil off over 2.0% and back below $60.00 per barrel. Product markets have been erratic this week with gasoline futures seeing gains of seven cents per barrel Wednesday which were preceded by losses of eight cents on Tuesday. The U.S. Dollar Index is pushing higher for a third straight session and is knocking on its 200-day moving average.
It was a bit disappointing to see April cattle futures closing unchanged. The April contract has been in a sideways range since the beginning of the month. Traders are holding out hopes for cash to achieve the $118 or $119 level, but cash has not been able to accomplish that yet. However, there is another month for cash to be able to achieve that level or higher. Higher cash Wednesday was certainly welcomed by feedlots with hopes of that continuing. The seasonal spring rally will need to be supported by good exports and strong cash prices.
Even though the trend is up and April and May hog futures made new highs Wednesday, traders may be apprehensive of the upcoming Hogs and Pigs report Thursday afternoon. This may keep price volatility subdued with most traders likely feeling confident, holding long positions. The average trade estimate for all hogs and pigs is 100.1% of last year. Kept for breeding is 98.7% and kept for marketing at 100.2%. Again, a lot of near-term trading will depend on where the actual numbers fall in relation to these estimates.
Farm and Ranch Director Jesse Allen has the latest: