Ag markets posted across-the-board gains Tuesday

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Corn futures rallied Tuesday afternoon. The easing of tensions over Russia’s invasion of Crimea eased overnight, which undercut early corn and wheat prices. However, the implications of that situation seemed to come to the fore again as the morning passed, especially after a respected domestic firm cut its Brazilian harvest forecast. May corn surged 13.75 cents to $4.8425/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while December added 10.0 to $4.865.

Declining production forecasts also boosted the soy complex. Soybean futures began Tuesday firmly, then moved higher in response to a fresh downward revision to global production prospects by Oil World. Those views were reinforced by published reports from a respected U.S. firm later in the morning. Ukraine’s role as a major sunflower oil producer probably sparked fresh oil buying. May soybeans climbed 13.75 cents to $14.23/bushel in late Tuesday trading, while May soyoil leapt 1.35 cents to 43.46 cents/pound, but May soymeal skidded $0.8 to $449.7/ton.

The wheat markets posted late Tuesday gains as well. Wheat futures fell sharply in response to the easing of Russia/Ukraine tensions Monday night and relatively good state readings for U.S. winter wheat conditions. However, the potential for a larger conflict and/or disruptions to Black Sea wheat shipments seemed to offer renewed support as the day passed. May CBOT wheat futures advanced 12.0 cents to $6.435/bushel at their Tuesday close, while May KCBT wheat futures gained 9.5 cents to $7.095, and May MWE futures rallied 13.0 to $6.855.

Cattle futures turned sharply higher Tuesday. CME traders were seemingly confused about short-term cattle and beef price prospects to start this week. However, beef cutout surged Monday and rose farther at midday, which spurred a belated response today. Indeed, traders are probably looking for more of the same during the days just ahead, which could spur packers to bid aggressively for fed cattle later this week. April cattle futures jumped 1.50 to 145.62 cents/pound as Tuesday’s CME ended, while August leapt 1.45 to 134.70. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle climbed 1.27 to 174.35 cents/pound, and August soared 1.27 to 176.85.

Hog futures spiked once again. Diminished Monday cash and wholesale strength seemed to weigh on hog futures overnight, as did Russian talk that they will put restrictions on renewed U.S. pork imports. However, rumors of tightening supplies apparently sent futures soaring once again. April hogs rocketed up the 3.0-cent limit to 111.67 cents/pound at Tuesday’s close, which June matched, rising to 115.75.

Aussie news may have supported cotton futures Tuesday. The equity markets rebounded strongly from Monday’s Russia-driven drop this morning, with investors rather obviously thinking its Crimean invasion wouldn’t affect the global economy. The implied firmness in global fiber demand was met by news (from ABARE) that Australia’s forthcoming crop will fall short of USDA forecasts. May cotton rose 0.89 cents to 89.22 cents/pound at its ICE settlement Tuesday, while December cotton rose 0.28 cents to 78.81.

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