U.S. corn futures advanced on a combination of spillover support from wheat and solid underlying demand. Wheat was the driving force in the market once again, but lingering uncertainties about U.S. yields and strong export demand served as supportive fundamentals to underpin prices, analysts said. Nevertheless, futures ended off session highs, succumbing to profit taking pressure, as beneficial crop conditions, the tempering of wheat's advances and overbought conditions dampened buyer enthusiasm, analysts added. September Chicago Board of Trade corn ended up 3 cents, or 3.6%, to $3.79 1/4 and December corn closed up 3 cents to $3.93 3/4.
U.S. wheat futures closed higher on stronger-than-expected demand and fund buying, traders say. U.S. wheat export sales for the week ended July 22 were 919,900, well above trade estimates. The strong demand was seen as a sign that buyers are looking toward the U.S. amid worries about declining production and export prospects in the Black Sea region, analysts say. A severe drought has hurt wheat in the region, which has emerged as a major force on the global market. The IGC was the latest organization to trim its production outlook based on problems in the Black Sea area. Commodity funds bought an estimated 8,000 contracts at CBOT. CBOT September wheat ended up 12 cents at $6.27 1/2 a bushel, KCBT September wheat rose 15 1/2 cents to $6.46 1/4, and MGE September wheat climbed 15 1/4 cents to $6.58 1/4.
U.S. soybean futures hit one-week highs on borrowed strength from wheat, underlying demand and cautious selling ahead of soybeans' critical growth period. The market continued the theme of feeding off positive momentum from wheat, energized by thoughts of lower world feed wheat supplies increasing soymeal demand - a product of soybean crushing. Futures were artificially pulled up by wheat, with fundamental support from China remaining a big buyer of U.S. supplies farther along into the marketing year and the uncertainty of U.S. production underpinning prices, said Don Roose, president U.S. Commodities. "Sellers are tentative about pressing the market despite favorable near term weather, as August is make or break time for U.S. soybean crops," Roose said. However, upside potential was limited as good near term weather is seen helping the crop march toward good yield potential. Chicago Board of Trade August soybeans finished 16 1/4 cents or 1.6% higher at $10.26 3/4, and November soybeans, the most-active contract ended 10 cents or 1.0% higher at $9.88.
Soymeal futures ended higher, supported by prospects for increased soymeal demand. The threat of reduced world feed wheat supplies amid crop issues in Europe and Russia is seen increasing interest in other livestock feeds like soymeal. The market is faced with a tight supply situation, with a big inverse in nearby soymeal spreads serving as a sign of tightness in the cash market, analysts said. The August-September soymeal spread is trading at an inverse with the front month at a $12 premium to the deferred contract Thursday. August soymeal settled $3.70 or 1.2% higher at $305.40, and December soymeal ended $2.70 or 1% higher at $286.90 per short ton. Soyoil futures climbed in unison with advances in the rest of the soy complex, with spillover strength from crude oil futures and fresh export sales to China lending support. December soyoil settled 0.43 cents or 1.1% higher at 40.00 cents per pound.
CBOT oat futures climbed in step with the rest of the grain complex. September oats settled 4 1/2 cents or 1.8% higher at $2.61 1/2 a bushel, and December oats settled 5 1/4 cents or 1.9% higher at $2.74 1/2.
U.S. rice futures closed narrowly mixed as the market took a breather following a sell-off earlier in the week. Prices are in a sideways trend on technical charts, a trader says. CBOT September rice would break out to the downside with a slide below its near-term low at $9.55, he said. Outlooks for record large crops in the U.S. and world are fundamentally bearish. Still, weekly U.S. rice export sales of 81,700 tons were strong, an analyst says. That was up 51% from the prior 4-week average, according to USDA. September rice slipped 1/2 cent to $10.14 per hundredweight, and November rice rose 1/2 cent to $10.39 1/2.
CME hogs settled higher, and several months posted new contract highs, on generally bullish market fundamentals. August reached its highest point in 5 1/2 weeks on spreading into that month out of October and December. Spreading into October out of December and February resulted in a fresh contract high for October. And the lower dollar, which tends to improve overall U.S. exports, generated enough hogs buying interest to drive December through April to new seasonal tops. August closed 1.47 cents higher, or 1.8%, at 84.85 cents a pound. Most-actively traded October finished up 1.12 cents, or 1.5%, at 78.07 cents. Pork bellies were unquoted.
CME live cattle closed lower following weaker-than-expected early cash cattle price returns and lower midday wholesale beef values. The stock market's slide from morning highs set bullish cattle players on their heels. Livestock traders use equities to gauge consumer demand for pricier products such as expensive beef cuts. Aug and Oct also touched off sell orders after both months fell below Wednesday's lows. August ended 0.92 cent a pound lower, or 1.0%, at 91.85 cents. Most-actively traded Oct finished down 0.72 cent, or 0.8%, at 93.47 cents. Feeder cattle settled lower as well on spillover live cattle pressure. August and September feeders violated chart support levels which triggered pre-placed sell orders. August feeders closed down 0.80 cent, or 0.7%, at 113.72 cents. Most-actively traded September ended down 0.57 cent, or 0.5%, at 114.27 cents.
CME lumber futures picked up extra volume as commodity fund-style firms rolled positions out of September and into November. In the Globex market, just under half of September's volume and most of November's was taken up with spread trades. Cash markets remain slow and weak. September closed $0.90 per 1,000 board feet, or 0.45%, higher at $201.50, while November was $1.60, or 0.77%, higher at $209.60. January ended $0.70, or 0.31%, lower at $226.80.
Ethanol futures rallied, moving along with firm corn prices and advances in crude oil futures. August ethanol ended up $0.025 or 1.5% at $1.666 a gallon.