Corn futures proved surprisingly firm Monday night. Losses in soybeans and wheat seemed likely to weigh upon corn prices as well, especially with the harvest ongoing. Overnight U.S. dollar strength might also prove rather bearish. However, the yellow grain appeared to firm in response to persistent cash firmness and potential harvest delays due to rain now falling across the Corn Belt. December and May corn futures were flat at $4.3775 and $4.5925/bushel, respectively.
The soy complex was decidedly mixed overnight. Although persistent rumors of Chinese buying continue supporting soybean futures, the nearby contracts dipped overnight. One has to wonder if the concurrent U.S. dollar bounce undercut prices somewhat. Talk of strong demand seemed to boost soyoil values, whereas the likely unwinding of meal/oil spreads may have depressed meal futures. November soybeans slipped 3.25 cents to $12.6975/bushel in early Tuesday trading, while December soyoil climbed 0.28 cents to 40.67 cents/pound, and December soymeal sagged $3.0 to $404.4/ton.
The wheat markets suffered moderate Monday night losses. There seemed to be no substantive news concerning wheat last night, which probably left the golden grain more responsive to outside influences. The fact that the U.S. dollar rose sharply and posted a one-month high in the process may have caused the modest wheat losses. December CBOT wheat tumbled 4.25 cents to $6.8825/bushel around dawn Tuesday, while December KCBT wheat sank 3.75 cents to $7.5775, and December MGE futures lost 4.25 cents to $7.5225.
Delivery news may have depressed cattle futures in early trading. Last Friday’s cash strength and Monday’s talk of wholesale firmness seemed to set a bullish tone for the short-term cattle futures outlook. However, the afternoon CME report that 33 fresh delivery notices had been posted against expiring October futures suggests short-term prospects aren’t as promising as bulls would like to think. December cattle futures dipped 0.05 cents to 133.10 cents/pound in early Tuesday action, while April skidded 0.02 to 135.62. Meanwhile, November feeder cattle fell 0.85 cents to 168.55 cents/pound, and January dove 1.07 to 167.40.
The hog market continued sliding this morning. Although the expiration of the October contract left the nearby December hog contract at a substantial discount to suspected cash values, hog futures remained weak last night. Anticipation of major seasonal weakness over the next 6-8 weeks, as well as overnight U.S. dollar gains seemed to exert persistent pressure. December hog futures slipped 0.05 cents to 86.30 cents/pound Monday, while April edged 0.05 cents lower to 89.40.
Cotton seemingly reacted to prospects for an end to the government shutdown. No obvious cotton news emerged Monday night. Unlike the negative wheat response to U.S. dollar strength, cotton futures seemed to respond to ongoing equity index gains, since the latter may bode well for the apparel outlook. December cotton rallied 0.29 cents to 83.90 cents/pound early Tuesday morning, while March gained 0.41 to 83.97.