Ag markets move little prior to the Wednesday WASDE report

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Corn futures apparently benefited from traders taking profits on existing short positions ahead of the Wednesday morning USDA WASDE report. Given the size of the breakdown suffered in the wake of the March 28 Grain Stocks report, many in the industry view the market as being oversold. Others apparently believe prices have reached levels where the yellow grain is a bargain. May corn climbed 9.0 cents to $6.425/bushel by late Tuesday morning, while December gained 4.25 cents to $5.3625.

Soybean futures hardly reacted to supportive South American news Tuesday morning. Brazilian officials cut their forecast of its soybean production forecast slightly, while Oil World warned that heavy rain following summer dryness could curtail the Argentine bean harvest. The looming Wednesday morning release of the monthly USDA WASDE report may be discouraging traders from buying aggressively, especially after the late-March Grain Stocks report proved so bearish. May soybeans rose 8.5 cents to $13.8625/bushel around mid-session Tuesday, while May soyoil added 0.07 cents to 49.59 cents/pound, and May meal edged $0.5 higher to $393.8/ton.

After rising substantially over the past week, wheat futures turned generally lower Tuesday morning. The decline was seemingly sparked by the Monday afternoon Crop Condition reports, which showed several winter wheat areas had enjoyed significant improvement last week. As with the other crop markets, wheat traders probably won’t be willing to push futures very far in either direction before the WASDE report. May CBOT wheat futures slipped 4.75 cents to $7.0775/bushel by late Tuesday morning, while May KCBT wheat edged downward 1.0 cent to $7.44, and May MGE futures skidded 0.25 cents to $7.995.

The expiring April Live Cattle future led the deferred contracts higher Tuesday morning, with wire service reports confirming suspicions that traders are anticipating a short-term rise in cash values. However, the fact that beef cutout rose only slightly suggests bullish expectations may not be fulfilled later this week. June cattle rose 0.22 cents to 122.27 cents/pound just before lunchtime Tuesday, while December inched up 0.07 cents to 128.62. May feeder cattle futures climbed 0.10 cents to 144.85 cents/pound, and August added 0.12 cents to 151.87.

Hog futures were narrowly mixed Tuesday morning, with the expiring April future being the only 2013 contract to post an intraday gain. Its slight discount to the CME lean hog index just before its Friday expiration is probably attracting support, as is the midday report of cash strength in the western Corn Belt. Uncertainty about the wholesale outlook may be weighing upon the deferred contracts. The lightly traded May hog contract was unchanged at 87.30 cents/pound in late Tuesday morning action, while June contract fell 0.50 cents to 89.60.

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