Ag markets were again quite mixed Monday night
International news supported corn futures Monday night. Global equity markets followed through on Monday’s big U.S. stock losses, which probably discouraged commodity buying as well. Still, news that a large South Korean firm had bought 65,000 tonnes of U.S. corn seemed to give CBOT futures a modest lift. March corn edged up 1.25 cents to $4.3675/bushel early Tuesday morning, while May gained 0.75 to $4.425.
The soy complex proved mixed in early Tuesday trading. Talk of strong soybean meal demand amidst this winter’s frigid weather is boosting that market. That strength is also spilling over into bean futures despite the accelerating South American harvest. Conversely, its position on the wrong side of the crush spread and concurrent palm oil weakness continue depressing soyoil values. March soybeans surged 6.75 cents to $12.995/bushel in pre-dawn Tuesday action, while March soyoil dipped 0.14 cents to 37.31 cents/pound, and March soymeal climbed $4.8 to $438.8/ton.
The wheat markets also seemed confused in overnight action. Traders cited short-covering for much of Monday’s impressive wheat rally, but the rise left the nearby contracts facing significant technical resistance. On the other hand, traders are once again discussing potential freeze damage from this week’s cold, as well as the limited precipitation received by Southern Plains fields this winter. March CBOT wheat futures rose 0.5 cent to $5.6425/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while March KCBT wheat futures added 2.25 cents to $6.265, and March MWE futures lost 1.0 to $6.0975.
Hopes for a cash bounce may have supported cattle futures last night. Beef values tumbled again Monday, which seemingly bodes ill for the short-term cattle outlook. However, grocers traditionally buy product most aggressively during the first half of most months, so bulls apparently hope that demand will boost the cattle/beef complex during the days ahead. April cattle futures rose 0.07 cents to 139.47 cents/pound in overnight activity while August was flat at 129.60. Meanwhile, March feeder cattle added 0.20 cents to 168.20 cents/pound, but May sank 0.05 to 169.00.
Rebounding cash and wholesale markets boosted hog futures. A big Friday drop in pork values apparently sparked Monday’s sell-off in hog futures. However, both the cash and wholesale markets posted modest comebacks yesterday, which probably explains the overnight bounce. April hogs rallied 0.37 cents to 93.22/pound as Tuesday dawned over Chicago, while June ran up 0.25 to 103.80.
Cotton futures rebounded from Monday’s losses. It would be easy to assume that the Monday afternoon announcement of another sizeable addition to ICE certificated stocks would have depressed cotton futures last night, especially with global equities also suffering. That was not the case, however, possibly due to the fact that S&P index futures rebounded from Monday’s late lows. Technical buying may also have played a role in the bounce. March cotton advanced 0.89 cents to 85.90 cents/pound just after sunrise (EST) Tuesday, while July cotton surged 1.11 to 86.27.