Ag markets posted varying price fluctuations on Tuesday

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Recent cash strength may have discouraged country corn buyers, since demand was termed weak Tuesday morning. That seemed to undercut nearby CBOT futures as the May contract expired. Conversely, ideas that drier weather will allow the domestic corn crop to be planted a more-or-less timely manner after weeks of delay apparently weighed somewhat upon deferred futures. July corn dipped 3.0 cents to $6.525/bushel at its Tuesday close, while December slid 1.25 cents to $5.38.

In contrast to the Tuesday corn weakness, the expiring May soybean future surged upward at expiration. Bulls reportedly took profits on long July/short November spreads as well, thereby depressing the most-active contract. Still, persistent ideas that the extremely slow pace of corn plantings will eventually force additional Corn Belt acreage into soybeans seemed to weigh upon deferred futures. July soybean futures slipped 4.75 cents to $14.1475/bushel late Tuesday afternoon, while July soyoil rallied 0.15 cents to 49.76 cents/pound, and July soybean meal lost $3.1 to $412.0/ton.

The wheat markets were narrowly mixed Tuesday afternoon. Chicago prices were probably supported by strength spilling over from the soybean complex, but talk of accelerating plantings probably depressed Minneapolis prices for spring wheat. Short-covering was also said to play a role in supporting prices. July CBOT wheat futures closed 1.0 cent higher at $7.1075/bushel; July KCBT wheat also rose 1.0 cent to $7.67, whereas July MGE futures was unchanged at $8.1125.

As indicated by the large discounts built into CME futures, cattle traders rather obviously worry about a major seasonal decline in cash prices during late spring and summer. The deferred futures losses posted today reflected that pessimism. However, surprisingly strong wholesale prices might do a great deal to mitigate the traditional seasonal decline, which largely explains the modest June advance. June cattle climbed 0.20 cents to 120.77 cents/pound in Tuesday trading, while December slid 0.27 cents to 125.37. Meanwhile, August feeder cattle futures inched upward 0.22 cents to 146.42 cents/pound, while November slid 0.07 cents to 151.55.

Hog traders also seemed to harbor bearish concerns Tuesday morning, but the sizeable midsession surge in pork values apparently caused those to be cast aside. The nearby contracts rocketed upward soon after the midsession wholesale report was released. June hog futures jumped 1.67 cents to 92.60 cents/pound late Tuesday afternoon, while December futures added 0.40 cents to 77.90.

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