Ag markets were mostly higher around midsession Tuesday

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Planting concerns continue boosting the corn market. The weekly USDA report on planting progress showed corn seedings at 19% complete, which fell well below average and about 2% below forecasts. Such concerns aren’t going away quickly, especially with cool, wet weather forecast for this week. May corn climbed 6.25 cents to $5.14/bushel late Tuesday morning, while December added 3.75 cents to $5.1075.

Talk of strong demand is supporting the soy complex. Although one wire service published a report of increased Argentine production, the soy complex posted across-the-board gains this morning. Talk of robust demand and tight old crop supplies reportedly boosted CBOT prices. May soybeans surged 11.25 cents to $15.195/bushel around midsession Tuesday, while May soyoil gained 0.22 cents to 42.84 cents/pound, and May soymeal rose $3.3 to $500.2/ton.

Anecdotal wheat tour reports are likely spurring futures gains. The USDA Crop Progress report indicated that winter wheat conditions had declined again last week, but futures hardly reacted overnight. However, the Wheat Quality Council Tour is now underway, with analysts tweeting bullish results this morning. May CBOT wheat futures rallied 5.0 cents to $7.0525/bushel in late Tuesday morning trading, while May KCBT wheat futures advanced 9.75 cents to $7.93 and May MWE futures bounced 4.5 to $7.5475.

Worries about seasonal weakness may be weighing on cattle futures. Although the cash and wholesale markets have held up well lately, traders still worry about a big supply-driven decline through the second quarter. That’s probably the reason for today’s slippage in the face of choice beef gains. June cattle futures stalled at 136.82 cents/pound shortly before lunchtime Tuesday, while December slid 0.35 cents to 142.27. Meanwhile, May feeder cattle dropped 0.47 cents to 180.62 cents/pound, but August edged up 0.25 cents to 186.60.

Anticipation of seasonal strength is likely supporting the hog market. The hog and pork complex proved quite firm Monday, but both cash and pork values seemed relatively weak this morning. The expiring May future dipped, whereas the deferred contracts rose in apparent anticipation of sizeable seasonal gains through late spring. June hog futures ran up 0.62 cents to 124.85 cents/pound by late Tuesday morning, while December surged 0.87 to 92.32.

Cotton futures seemingly bounced from technical support. The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated that cotton seedings had advanced 4% to 13% complete last week. The fact that Texas plantings are running well behind normal seems supportive, especially with drought persisting in that region. However, having major support hold at their 40-day moving averages may have played a bigger role in today’s early surge. July cotton jumped 1.58 cents to 93.81 cents/pound just before midday (EDT) Tuesday, while December cotton moved up 0.26 to 83.00.

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