Ag markets posted divergent moves Tuesday

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The corn market followed wheat lower Tuesday. The grain and soy futures began the week trading firmly, although there was little fresh news. Corn futures later turned downward, possibly reflecting disappointment with the weekly Export Inspections report, as well as favorable late-season weather. The concurrent wheat breakdown probably added to the pressure. December corn futures skidded 1.0 cent to $3.6375 in late Tuesday trading, while May edged down 1.25 to $3.8475.

Talk of excessive moisture apparently boosted beans and meal. Little fresh soy news emerged over the weekend, but traders seemed to decide that the prospect of significant short-term rainfall might hurt the current soy crop; that may reflect increased disease potential and slow maturity issues. Soyoil turned downward from early highs. November soybean futures closed 7.75 cents higher at $10.33/bushel Tuesday afternoon, while October soyoil slid 0.06 cents to 31.95 cents/pound, and October soymeal advanced $9.1 to $372.2/ton.

The wheat markets turned decidedly lower Tuesday. Recent rainfall over the northern Plains hasn’t been conducive to a good spring wheat harvest, but traders seem to think it favors a strong start to winter wheat planting and growth. The tense Black Sea situation is obviously tense, but continued Ukrainian shipments seemed to undercut prices today. December CBOT wheat fell 8.5 cents to $5.55/bushel as Tuesday’s trading ended, while December KC wheat dropped 10.25 cents to $6.325/bushel, and December MWE wheat slumped 7.0 to $6.2275.

Friday’s cash strength boosted cattle futures. The cash cattle market again defied bearish expectations last week, with Friday afternoon quotes actually rebounding from the slippage seen Wednesday and Thursday. Traders are apparently reconsidering former bearish biases. October live cattle futures surged 1.00 cent to 152.42 cents/pound as Tuesday’s pit session ended, while December futures jumped 1.57 to 155.52. Meanwhile, October feeder futures leapt 2.10 cents to 218.82 cents/pound and January feeders spiked 2.40 to 212.60.

Hog traders still anticipate a September cash and pork recovery. Wholesale pork prices continued their mid-week surge last Friday. Moreover, last week’s hog kill proved quite small, thereby triggering suspicions that late-summer supplies are dwindling. Futures surged on today’s opening, but backed away from the early highs. October hogs soared 1.75 cents to 99.87 cents/pound at Tuesday’s settlement, while December rallied 1.40 to 93.40.

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