Ag markets were generally firm to higher Tuesday night

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Corn futures seemed to fail at technical resistance Tuesday night. There wasn’t a great deal of news concerning the corn market overnight, although a story suggesting a lack of funds would force Ukrainian farmers to cut back on grain plantings this spring seemed rather bullish. The fact that the nearby May contract has recently proven unable to top resistance associated with its 10-day moving average seems to be weighing upon prices. May corn slid 1.25 cents to $4.85/bushel early Wednesday morning, while December lost 1.75 to $4.86.

Talk of robust demand is boosting the soy complex once again. Soybean and product futures continued Tuesday’s strong advance in overnight action, with wire service sources citing persistently strong demand for the move. Traders are reportedly expecting a low total on the March 31 Grain Stocks report from the USDA. Rebounding Asian palm prices also supported soyoil. May soybeans jumped 16.25 cents to $14.345/bushel in early Wednesday trading, while May soyoil rallied 0.41 cents to 42.68 cents/pound, and May soymeal gained $4.7 at $460.5/ton.

The wheat markets were mixed last night. The winter wheat markets proved unable to sustain the upward momentum from Tuesday’s big gains in overnight action, despite poor rainfall forecasts for the central and southern Plains. One has to wonder if the report of likely diminished Ukrainian plantings boosted the Minneapolis market. May CBOT wheat futures sagged 3.0 cents to $6.895/bushel in pre-dawn Tuesday trading, while May KCBT wheat futures skidded 1.0 cent to $7.6225 and May MWE futures climbed 1.0 to 7.425.

Nearby cattle futures appear to be struggling at old highs. Beef prices posted moderate gains Tuesday, which apparently spurred fresh bullish ideas about the short-term outlook and interest in nearby contracts. However, Chicago prices slipped overnight, which seemingly reflected selling around old highs on the April chart. April cattle futures inched down 0.02 cents at 145.67 cents/pound in Tuesday night action, while August slumped 0.15 cents to 135.25. Meanwhile, April feeder cattle stalled at 176.90 cents/pound, and August rose 0.05 to 179.42.

Hog futures responded weakly to strong Tuesday afternoon data. Lean hog futures seemed to lose some upward momentum Tuesday, possibly in reaction to uncertainty about cash and wholesale conditions. However, afternoon reports proved very strong once again, thereby seeming to set the stage for continued CME gains. The market’s muted overnight response may raise some eyebrows among the bulls who have dominated trading lately. April hogs advanced 0.55 cents to 123.77 cents/pound early Wednesday morning, while June declined 0.05 to 132.95.

Equity strength seemingly encouraged cotton bulls again Tuesday night. Surging equity markets and tight domestic conditions apparently powered ICE cotton futures to their strongest close in months yesterday. Given the lack of intervening news and continued gains by stock index futures, it isn’t terribly surprising to see the nearby contracts a bit higher again this morning. May cotton edged up 0.07 cents to 93.00 cents/pound just after sunrise (EDT) Wednesday, while December cotton slipped 0.15 to 80.09.

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