Ag markets mixed to higher on Tuesday morning

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After spiking upward Monday in response to renewed concerns about U.S. planting delays during May, corn futures set back Tuesday morning. Some traders clearly thought the gains, particularly those by the old-crop contracts, were overdone, whereas others may simply think there is still adequate time to get the huge 2013 crop planted. U.S. dollar weakness probably limited losses. May corn was unchanged at $6.84/bushel late Tuesday morning, while December gained 5.25 cents to $5.6475.

Soybean futures also reversed to the downside in early Tuesday morning trading, but rebounded as the noon hour approached. Wire service reports suggested strong producer sales in response to the Monday surge undercut the market, but the effect was apparently temporary. The potential for sustained delays to corn planting and an eventual switch of many acres to soybeans probably weighed upon deferred futures to some extent. May soybean futures gained 0.25 cents to $14.72/bushel around mid-session Tuesday, while May soyoil slid 0.13 cents to 49.33 cents/pound; May soybean meal added $0.1 to $431.5/ton.

Wheat futures gave back a portion of their large Monday surge early Tuesday morning, to which traders attributed ideas that forecast precipitation over the central U.S. could offset the damage done by recent frosts. The late-morning breakdown in the U.S. dollar may have offered fresh support, since the cheaper greenback makes American products more attractive to export customers. Weather-related problems seem likely to offer continued support as well. May CBOT wheat futures jumped 12.25 cents to $7.22/bushel just before lunchtime Tuesday, while May KCBT wheat leapt 14.25 cents to $7.95 and May MGE futures surged 8.25 cents to $8.40.

Cattle futures rose moderately Tuesday morning after the Monday afternoon wholesale report seemed to confirm seasonally bullish expectations. Traders are almost surely anticipating a cash and futures rally in response to the belated arrival of spring grilling season with warming temperatures over much of the country during the days and weeks just ahead. The U.S. dollar decline very likely encouraged buying as well. June cattle rose 0.35 cents to 122.90 cents/pound late Tuesday morning, while December added 0.05 cents to 128.12. Feeder cattle futures rebounded from recent losses despite firm grain and soy prices; the May contract climbed 0.57 cents to 141.00 cents/pound, and August surged 0.75 cents to 150.62.

Continued cash and wholesale strength seemingly powered CME lean hog futures upward Tuesday morning. Predictions that the Monday quote for the CME cash equivalent price will jump 1.04 cents to 83.46 tomorrow apparently boosted the expiring May contract, while the deferred contracts anticipated sustained spring and summer strength. May hog futures jumped 0.85 cents to 90.15 cents/pound around midday Tuesday, and the June contract rose 0.57 cents to 92.72.


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